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"But when the Adness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made 
under the law, to redeem them that were under the law." — Gal. iv. 4, 5. 



[All rights reserved.] 

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871, 


in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 



I HAVE undertaken to write a Life of Jesus, the Christ, in 
the hope of inspiring a deeper interest in the noble Per- 
sonage of whom those matchless histories, the Gospels of Mat- 
thew, Mark, Luke, and John are the chief authentic memorials. 
I have endeavored to present scenes that occurred two thousand 
vears ago as they would appear to modern eyes if the events 
had taken place in oar day. 

The Lives of Christ which have appeared of late years have 
naturally partaken largely of the dialectic and critical spirit. 
They have either attacked or defended. The Gospel, like a 
city of four gates, has been taken and retaken by alternate 
parties, or held in part by opposing hosts, while on every side 
the marks of siege and defence cover the ground. This may 
be unfortunate, but it is necessary. As long as great learning 
and acute criticism are brought to assail the text of the Gos- 
pels, their historic authenticity, the truth of their contents, and 
the ethical nature of their teachings, so long must great learn- 
ing and sound philosophy be brought to the defence of those 
precious documents. 

But such controversial Lives of Christ are not the best for 
general reading. While they may lead scholars from doubt 
to certainty, they are likely to lead plain people from certainty 
into doubt, and to leave them there. I have therefore studi- 


fii« r fh 

a- ^ -B- 


ously avoided a polemic spirit, seeking to produce conviction 
without controversy. 

Joubert^ finely says: "State truths of sentiment, and do not 
try to prove them. There is danger in such proofs ; for in 
arguing it is necessary to treat that which is in question as 
something problematic ; now that which we accustom ourselves 
to treat as problematic ends by appearing to us as really 
doubtful. In things that are visible and palpable, never prove 
what is believed already ; in things that are certain and mys- 
terious, — mysterious by their greatness and by their nature, — 
make people believe them, and do not prove them ; in things 
that are matters of practice and duty, command, and do not 
explain. 'Fear God' has made many men pious; the proofs of 
the existence of God have made many men atheists. From 
the defiance springs the attack ; the advocate begets in his 
hearer a wish to pick holes ; and men are almost always led 
on from a desire to contradict the doctor to the desire to 
contradict the doctrine. Make Truth lovely, and do not try 
to arm her." 

The history of the text, the authenticity of the several 
narratives, the many philosophical questions that must arise 
in such a field, I have not formally discussed ; still less have 
I paused to dispute and answer the thousands of -objections 
which swarm around the narrative in the books of the scepti- 
cal school of criticism. Such a labor, while very important, 
would constitute a work quite distinct from that which I have 
proposed, and would infuse into the discussion a controversial 
element which I have especially sought to avoid, as inconsistent 
with the moral ends which I had in view. 

* As quoted by Matthew Arnold, Essays in Criticism, p. 234 (London ed.), 1865. 

t ^ 


I have however attentively considered whatever has been 
said, on every side, in the works of critical objectors, and have 
endeavored as far as possible so to state the facts as to take 
away the grounds from which the objections were aimed. 

Writing in ftdl sympathy with the Gospels as authentic 
historical documents, and with the nature and teachings of the 
great Personage whom they describe, it is scarcely necessary 
to say that I have not attempted to show the world Avliat 
Matthew and John ought to have heard and to have seen, but 
did not ; nor what things they did not see or hear, but in their 
simplicity believed that they did. In short, I have not in- 
vented a Life of Jesus to suit the critical philosophy of the 
nineteenth century. 

The Jesus of the four Evangelists for wellnigh two thousand 
years has exerted a powerful influence upon the heart, the un- 

derstandinor, and the imas-ination of mankind. It is ihcd Jesus 


and not a modern substitute, whom I have sought to depict, in his 
life, his social relations, his disposition, his deeds and doctrines. 

This work has been delayed far beyond the expectation of 
the publishers, without fault of theirs, but simply because, with 
the other duties incumbent upon me, I could not make haste 
faster than I have. Even after so long a delay the first Part 
only is ready to go forth ; and for the second I am obliged to 
solicit the patience of my readers. But I aim to complete it 
within the year. 

The order of time in the four Evangelists has always been 
a perplexity to harmonists, and it seems likely never to be less. 
But this is more especially characteristic of details whose value 
is little affected by the question of chronological order, than 
of the great facts of the life of Jesus. 


I have followed, though not without variations, the order 
given by Ellicott,^ and especially Andrews.^ But a recent 
" Gospel History Consolidated," published in London by Bag- 
ster,^ so generally accords with these that I have made it the 
working basis ; and, instead of cumbering the margin with 
references to the passages under treatment, have preferred to 
reproduce at the end of this volume a corresponding portion 
of the text of the " Gospels Consolidated," by a reference to 
which, chapter by chapter, those who wish to do so will find 
the groundwork on which this Life is founded. 

Although the general arrangement of the " Gospels Con- 
solidated" has been followed, it will be seen that I have fre- 
quently deviated from it in minor matters. For example, 
believing that the reports of the Sermon on the Mount, as 
given in Matthew and in Luke, are but two separate accounts 
of the one discourse, I have not treated Luke's record as that 
of a second delivery of the same matter, as is sometimes done. 
The two accounts of the discourse and uproar at Nazareth I 
have regarded as referring to but a single transaction, while 
the " Gospels Consohdated " treats them as separate events. 
But such differences in mere arrangement are inevitable, and 
not imjDortant. No two harmonists ever did agree in all par- 
ticulars, and it is scarcely possible that any two ever will. The 
very structure of the Gospels makes it wellnigh impossible. 

^ Historical Lectures on the Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ. C. J. EUicott. 

■ The Life of Our Lord upon Earth. Samuel J. Andrews. 

' Imported and sold in the United States by John Wiley and Son, New York. 

* I would not be understood as recommending the " Gospels Consolidated " as a sub- 
stitute for the four Gospels, but as an auxiliary. The fulness with which transactions 
are there made to stand out Avill help the common reader to attain conceptions to which 
scholars come by a laborious intercomparison of the four narratives. 

■ I 


PREFA CE. vii 

They are not like the "dissected maps/' or pictures, whose 
severed parts can, with some patience, be fitted together into 
the original whole, a hundred times exactly alike. They are 
little more, often, than copious indexes of a voluminous life, 
without dates or order. It is not probable that a single note 
was taken, or a line written, in Christ's hfetime. The Gos- 
pels are children of the memory. They were vocally delivered 
hundreds of times before being written out at all ; and they 
bear the marks of such origin, in the intensity and vividness 
of individual incidents, while chronological order and literary 
unity are but Httle regarded. In the arrangement of particu- 
lars, therefore, when no clew to the real order of time could 
be found, I have felt at liberty to select such order as would 
best help the general impression. 

That this work may carry to its readers the richest blessing 
which I can imagine, a sympathetic insight into the heart of 
its great subject, Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of the world, and 
a vital union with him, is my earnest wish and devout prayer. 

Brooklyn, N, Y., August^ 1871. 

^— ^ ^ 

ifl- —a 




Introductory . 1 

The Overture of Angels 8 

The Doctrinal Basis 34 


Childhood and Residence at Nazareth ...... 42 


The Voice in the Wilderness 63 


The Temptation 87 


Jesus, his Personal Appearance 102 

The Outlook 118 


The Household Gate 13G 

c&- ^ Efa 



The First Jud^an Ministry 150 


The Lesson at Jacob's Well 171 


Early Labors in Galilee . . 189 

A Time of Joy . . . .211 


The Sermon on the Mount. — The Beatitudes . . ' . . . 230 


The Sermon on the Mount (contimied) 249 


The Beginning of Conflict . 274 


Around the Sea of Galilee 300 


INDEX 381 

^ _g] 






1. Head of Christ. Restored, painted, and engraved by W. E. Mar- 

shall ........... Frontispiece. 

After photograph of the rapidly decaying Supper Scene of Leonakdo da Vinci, 
at Milan. 

2. Vignette. Bethlehem, from the Jerusalem road. Designed by A. L. 

Rawson. Engraved by R. Hinshelwood litic-page 

The ancient convent, " half church, half fort," stands on the east end of a steep ridge, 
the village being a little to the west on the same hill, which is terraced, and well 
cultivated with olives, vines, figs, and pasturage. Herod's burial-place, the Frank 
mountain, is in the distance. 


Designed by A. L. Rawson. — Drawn on Wood by Harry Fenn and tJie Dedgncr. — Engraved 
by W. J. and Henry D. Linton. 

The drawings are from original sketches by the artist, and exchanges with other artists who 
have been in the East, corrected according to photogi-aphs, written accounts, personal conversa- 
tions with natives, resident missionaries, and travellers, and the best works on Bible lauds ; 
credit for which is given at the end of this list. 

The instances in which a restoration has been attempted will be seen at once, and the authority 
is given in each case. 

The great and increasing interest in this subject demanded that the illustrations should be first 
true, and then artistically excellent ; and this has been the principle constantly held in view. 
The authority followed in locating disputed points is noted in every such case ; and due credit is 
given for all designs taken from external sources. 

3. View of the Temple op Herod, from Ohvet. Restored by Fergusson. 

(Full page.) .......... Page 1 

" I passed out of Jerusalem by St. Stephen's Gate, descended to Gethsemane, and from 
thence pursued the old road, which leads to Bethany by the western slope of Olivet, 
overlooking the Valley of Jehoshaphat. At the summit of the short ascent, a few 
ledges of limestone rock, carpeted with gi-eensward, crop out beside the path, and 
afford a natural resting-place. 
" The old wall and the well-known corner of the Harem Ared were opposite, and so 
vividly near in the pure, transparent atmosphere, that the stones could be counted." 
(Eastward, McLeod.) 
In the restoration by Fergusson, the above-described position was taken for the view, 
and the Temple is shown surrounded by its courts and outer wall as it is supposed 
to have been in the time of Christ, while Zion, enclosed by its wall, crowded with 
towers, as described by Josephus, forms the background. 


4. Angelic Appearance to the Shepherds. The Shepherds' Field . . 8 

Below and east of the convent is Beit Sahur, ^\ith the ruins of a Greek church sur- 
rounded hy olive-trees, and near these is the tower of Ader. This is the traditional 
scene of the Appearance. The terraces are built up with stone walls, and are very- 

6. Angelic Appearance to Zacharias. High-priest with breastplate. After 

design by T. 0. Paine 9 

Zacharias was father to John the Baptist, and lived in Juttah. The breastplate was 
"woven with cunning work ; after the work of the ephod .... of gold, of blue, 
and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, .... four-square .... 
being doubled, a span .... the length thereof, and a span .... the breadth." 
(Exod. xxviii. 15, 16.) 

6. Mary's Visit to Elisabeth, Mother of John the Baptist. Juttah . . IG 

"Six miles south of Hebron, on a rounded hill, rising from a beautiful plain, which is 
dotted with oaks, terebinths, and other trees, besides orchards of fruit and vines. 
Luke i. 39." (Robinson.) 

7. Birth of Jesus. Bethlehem. (Fuiipage.) 22 

View near the convent, looking southwest. This was an old town in Jacob's day, 
called Ephrath. The birthplace of David, the residence of Saul, Boaz, and Euth. 
Justin Martyr (A. D. 91-165) says the birth of Jesus took place "in a certain 
cave very close to the city." The present convent is built over the traditional site 
of that cave. The women of Bethlehem are the fairest and their houses are the 
best cared for in all Palestine. Population, three thousand. 

8. The Star of Betlilehem. (A flower.) Ornithogalum umbellatum . . 27 
The root is large, bulbous, and is eaten as a salad, or boiled. 

y. Visit of the Magi. " Wise men of Chaldsea, the East" .... 28 

Their gifts were gold, frankincense, and myrrh, — 
" Gold as a gift to a king. 
Frankincense as adoration to the Son of God. 
Myrrh as the sign of the Passion and the embalming." 
Frankincexse = Boswellia serrata. 
Myrrh = Balsamodendron myn-lia. ' 

10. The Flight into Egypt. View in Wady Ithm, on the route from Petra to 
Akabah 30 

It was a highway in Solomon's day, and is frequented now. It is a pass in the eastern 
wall of the Arabah. The base of the mountains is limestone and argillaceous rock, 
strewed witli blocks of porphyry, above whicli rise lofty masses of porphyry two 
thousand to three thousand feet. Fine pasture. Moses led the Israelites through 
this pass just after the event of the fiery serpents. 

11. Vignette. Angels .......... 33 

12. Nazareth, from the north. (FuUpage.) 46 

The home of Jesus in his childhood and youth ; is not mentioned in the Old Testa- 
ment, nor in Josephus ; is now the chief town in Galilee, with five thousand people. 
The view from the heiglit northwest of the town (Naby Ismail, eighteen hundred 
feet high) is the finest in Palestine, comprising the snow-capped Hermon, Hattin, 

^ ■ ^ 


and the mountains around the Sea of Galilee, Gilead, Tabor, Gilboa, :Moreli, 
Samaria, Esdraelon, Carmel, the bay and town of Acre, and the blue ilediter- 
ranean. Fifty-five miles, air-line, from Jerusalem. 

13. rresentation in the Temple. Temple-porch. After design by T. 0. 

Paine "'-' 

U. Temple Interior. (T. 0. Paine.) 57 

15. Join the Baptht hi the Wilderness. View from Olivet, looking towards 

Jordan, the Dead Sea, and the MoAB Mountains. (Fuiipage.) , . G3 

All travellers make a point of seeing this vjew, as it is very interesting. The Dead 
Sea is more than four thousand feet below, and about twelve miles distant, 
although seeming much nearer. The region between Olivet and the sea is the 
Wilderness of Judrea, and is formed of steep rocky hills, treeless, but with good 
pasturage. It is now, as anciently, without settled inhabitants, a country of 
nomads. The course of the Jordan can be traced for many miles by the dark green 
line of vegetation. The Moab Mountains form a great wall to the east, dividing 
the so well known Palestine from the almost unknown Arabia. 

1 6. John baptizing in the Wilderness. The Ghor, — or Jordan Valley, — near 

Bethshan "^^ 

"The Wilderness" is the name of the whole Jordan valley, from the Sea of Galilee 
to the Dead Sea. It is distinctly outlined in its whole course by walls of whitish- 
yellow rocks, behind which rise the range of Samaria to the west, three thousand 
feet high, and that of Gilead to the east, live thousand feet above the valley, which 
is six miles wide at this place, and twelve at Jericho. It is not level, but full of 
rolling hills. 

17. Baptism of Jesus hij John. View of the Eiver Jordan, near the Jews' 

Castle (east of Jericho), the Latin bathing-place. (Fuu page.) 
The lower banks of the stream are clay and marl, some ten feet high, luxuriant with 
oleanders, tamarisks, willows, reeds, and many other flowers and shrubs, besides 
shady trees. The river-bed is eighty to one hundred and fifty feet wide, and five 
to twelve feet deep. The second banks are one hundred and fifty to two hundred 
feet high, and form a ravine five hundred to fifteen hundred feet mde. Above 
these the plain extends back to the mountain ranges of Moab on the east, which 
is near, and of Judsa on the west, which is twelve miles distant. The plain of 
Jericho, extending away from the west bank, is now bleak, desolate, treeless, and 
crusted with salts, with many heaps and mounds of ruins, the remains of ancient 
cities. Thousands of pilgrims go down to bathe in Jordan at Easter. 

18. John the Baptist in Prison. Mach^RUS ^^ 

"A very rocky hill, elevated to a very great height, ditched about with valleys on 

all sides to such a depth that the eye cannot reach their bottoms, that on the west 
reaching to the Lake Asphaltites ; and on that same side the castle had the tallest 
top of its hill elevated above the rest." (Josephus, Wars, Lib. VI. c. 1.) The 
clifts are two hundred feet high, one hundred and fifty feet apart, and the stream 
from the hot springs of Callirrohoe is six to ten inches deep, and runs at the rate 
of nearly four miles an hour. 

19. The Temptation. Mount Quarantania, near Jericho . . • -87 
A bleak, bare, rocky height, about two thousand feet high, crowned with a ruinous 

chapel, and pierced with countless cells, used during the Middle Ages by hermits. 





head of splendid, glittering Hermon," while, to the left, is seen "the far-off snow 
on tha sharp indented Sunnin, chief of the Lebanon range." 

39. Candlestick. (Matt. v. 15.) Lamp on an ancient candlestick (the small 

jug is for holding oil). Found at Tyre by Robert Morris, LL. D., 
1868 249 

40. Burning Brij Grass in Ovens. (Luke xii. 28.) ..... 2G5 
Bread is baked by spreading thin dough on the outside of the heated oven. 

41. ^^ For every tree is known hi/ its fruits.'^ Bramble and Thorn. Rubns 

fruticosus (blackberry), and Lycium horridum . . . . .206 

42. "Consider the lilies of the field." Lilies gathered by Robert Morris, 

LL. D., in the summer of 1868 271 

At the top is the Lebanon, the next below is an orange-colored aniaryllis ; then the 

Huleh lily ; and last the dark scarlet Chalcedonicuni lily. 
Lilies are abundant in Palestine, and luxuriant, and of great size and beauty. 

43. Raising the Widow^s Son. Nain and Jebel Duhy, or Little Hermon, the 

ancient Hill of Moreh . . . . " 274 

A little village of poor houses, on the southern slope of the mountains, commanding 
a wide and beautiful prospect over Galilee. Ruins and tombs witness its ancient 

44. Jesus hy the Sea. The Fountain at Tabiga. (Fuu page.) . . . 300 

There are a number of fountains and streams, aqueducts and pools, in a little nook, 
close to the shore of the Galilean lake. The Arabs have built mills over some of 
the streams. 

45. The barren Fig-tree. Fig and Leaves ... . . . . 310 

The fig is one of the staple products of Palestine. It is mentioned in Genesis, was 
brought out from Canaan by the spies, and is yet extensively cultivated. 

46. Parable of the Sower. (Matt, xiii.) . . . . . . .317 

Oxen, camels, cows, and asses are used to draw the plough, which is of wood, shod 

with iron ; and the work is done in the rainy season. The goad is a pointed pole, 
shod with an iron spade for cleaning the plough. 

47. Mustard. (Matt. xiii. 31.) Sinapis nigra 322 

There are several plants, any one of which would answer the requirements of the text ; 
and each one has its advocate as the real one designated. 

48. Tel Hum (one of the supposed sites of, from the shore west 

" of the hill 325 

^- ^: 



Constructed by A. L. Rawson. — Engraved by G. W. & C. B. Colton & Co. 

In preparing the Maps, use was made of the latest works of Van de Velde and 
of the French and Enghsh surveys, these being corrected by every means of later 
information accessible. 

The General Map comprises the whole country visited by Jesus (except the 
journey in infancy to Egypt), giving but a few of the most important names. 

The Vicinity of Nazareth and Capernaum is quite full in detail, showing how 
many towns there are or were in this region (though nearly one half of the whole 
have been omitted, to avoid crowding). 

The Plan of the Temple of Herod is after Fei-gusson. 


The designer wishes to acknowledge his obligations for favors shown him in 
the loan of sketches and photographs, in the inspection and criticism of his de- 
signs, and in the loan of (foins, lamps, bottles, and many articles, illustrations 
of which appear in either the first or the second volume of this work, to W. C. 
Prime, New York ; Dr. Vandyke, Beirut, Syi-ia ; L. Murad, United States Vice- 
Consul at Jerusalem ; W. E. James, of Brooklyn, photogi-apher on the voyage of 
the Quaker City ; Virtue & Yorston (Frith's photogi-aphs in the Queen's Bible) ; 
Dr. E. Pierotti, Jerusalem ; Lieutenant Charles Warren, R. E. (plans, etc., of 
the exploration now going on in Palestine) ; Robert Morris, LL. D. (pressed flow- 
ers gathered by him in Palestine in the summer of 1868, and Map of the proposed 
railroad from Joppa to Jerusalem, giving a minute survey of every site, ancient 
and modern, on the x'oute) ; Dr. W. H. Bidwell, Editor Eclectic Magazine ; and 
E. & H. T. Anthony, photographic publishers ; besides many others, whose ser- 
vices have been as cheerfully given and as valuable, but whose names are omitted 
at their request. 




head of splendid, glittering Hermon," while, to the left, is seen "the far-off snow 
on the sharp indented 8unnin, chief of the Lebanon range." 

39. Candlestick. (Matt. v. 15.) Lamp on an ancient candlestick (the small 

jug is for holding oil). Found at Tyre by Robert Morris, LL. D., 
1868 249 

40. Burning Dry Grass in Ovens. (Luke xii. 28.) ..... 2G5 
Bread is baked by spreading thin dough on the outside of the heated oven. 

41. "For every tree is knoivn by its fruits." Bramble and TnoRN. Rubus 

fruticosus (blackberry), and Lycium horridum . . . . .206 

42. "Consider the lilies of the Jield." Lilies gathered by Robert Morris, 

LL. D., in the summer of 1868 271 

At the top is the Lebanon, the next below is an orange-colored aniaryllis ; then the 

Huleh lily ; and last the dark scarlet Chalcedonicuni lily. 
Lilies are abundant in Palestine, and luxuriant, and of great size and beauty. 

43. Raising the Widoids Son. Nain and Jebel Duhy, or Little Hermon, the 

ancient Hill of Moreh . . . . " 274 

A little village of poor houses, on the southern slope of the mountains, commanding 
a wide and beautiful prospect over Galilee. Ruins and tombs witness its ancient 

44. Jesus by the Sea. The Fountain at Tabiga. (Fuu page.) . . . 300 

There are a number of fountains and streams, aqueducts and pools, in a little nook, 
close to the shore of the Galilean lake. The Arabs have built mills over some of 
the streams. 

45. The barren Fig-tree. Fig and Leaves ........ 310 

The fig is one of the staple products of Palestine. It is mentioned in Genesis, was 
brought out from Canaan by the spies, and is yet extensively cultivated. 

46. Parable of the Sower. (Matt, xiii.) . . . . • . .317 

Oxen, camels, cows, and asses are used to draw the plough, which is of wood, shod 
with iron ; and the work is done in the rainy season. The goad is a pointed pole, 
shod with an iron spade for cleaning the plough. 

47. Mustard. (Matt. xiii. 31.) Sinapis nigra 322 

There are several plants, any one of which would answer the requirements of the text ; 
and each one has its advocate as the real one designated. 

48. Tel Hum (one of the supposed sites of Capernaum), from the shore west 

" of the hill 325 

■ -a 



Constructed hij A. L. Kawsox. — Engraved hij G. W. k C. B. Coltox & Co. 

In preparing the Maps, use was made of the latest works of Van de Velde and 
of the French and Enghsh surveys, these being corrected by every means of later 
information accessible. 

The General Map comprises the whole country visited by Jesus (except the 
journey in infancy to Egypt), giving but a few of the most important names. 

The Vicinity of Nazareth and Capernaum is quite full in detail, showing how 
many towns there are or were in this region (though nearly one half of the whole 
have been omitted, to avoid crowding). 

The Plan of the Temple of Herod is after Fergusson. 


The designer washes to acknowledge his obligations for favors shown him in 
the loan of sketches and photographs, in the inspection and criticism of his de- 
signs, and in the loan of doins, lamps, bottles, and many articles, illustrations 
of which appear in either the first or the second volume of this work, to W. C. 
Prime, New York ; Dr. Vandyke, Beirut, Syria ; L. Murad, United States Vice- 
Consul at Jerusalem ; W. E. James, of Brooklyn, photographer on the voyage of 
the Quaker City ; Virtue & Yorston (Frith's photographs in the Queen's Bible) ; 
Dr. E. Pierotti, Jerusalem ; Lieutenant Charles Warren, R. E. (plans, etc., of 
the exploration uow^ going on in Palestine) ; Robert Morris, LL. D. (pressed flow- 
ers gathered by him in Palestine in the summer of 1868, and Map of the proposed 
railroad from Joppa to Jerusalem, giving a minute survey of every site, ancient 
and modern, on the route); Dr. AV. H. Bidwell, Editor Eclectic Magazine ; and 
E. & H. T. Anthony, photographic publishers ; besides many others, whose ser- 
vices have been as cheerfully given and as valuable, but whose names are omitted 
at their request. 


a — ^ a 



HOW well the Hebrew Priest, but especially the Prophet, had 
done his Avork, may best be seen in that moral element 
which made Judaism to religion what the Greek spirit had ])vvu 
to the intellectual life of the world. Nowhere out of Judiea 
were to be found such passionate moral fervor and such intense 
spiritual j^earnings. But this spirit had spent itself as a formative 
power ; it had already overshot the multitude, while higher 
natures were goaded by it to excess. There was need of a new 
religious education. This was the desire and expectation of the 
best men of the Jewish Church. How their spiritual quickening 
was to come, they knew not. That it was coming was generally 
believed, and also that the approaching deliverance would in onie 
mysterious way bring God nearer to men. " Of the day and of 
the hour" knew no man. The day had come when a new mani- 
festation of God was to be made. A God of holiness, a God of 
power, and a God of mercy had been clearly revealed. The Di- 
vine Spirit was now to be clothed with flesh, subjected to the 
ordinary laws of matter, placed in those conditions in which men 
live, become the subject of care, weariness, sorrow, and of death 

The history of this divine incarnation we are now to trace, in 
so far as the religious knowledge Avhich has sprung from it can be 
carried back to its sources, and bs made to illustrate the sublime 
truths and events of the Lord's earthly mission. 

Since there are four inspired lives of our Lord, — two of them 
by the hands of disciples who were eye-witnesses of the events 
recorded, namely, those by Matthew and John, and two, those of 
Mark and Luke, by men who, though not disciples, were yet the 
companions of the Apostles, and derived their nuiterials, in part, 
from them, — Avhy should it be necessary to frame other histories 



of Jesus, the Christ ? Since the materials for any new life of 
Christ must be derived from the four Evangelists, is it likely that 
uninspired men, after a lapse of nearly nineteen hundred years, 
can do better than the?/ did who were either witnesses or contem- 
poraries of the Lord, and who were appointed and guided by the 
Divine Spirit to make a record of truth for all time ? 

The impression produced by such suggestions will be materially 
modified upon a close examination of the Gospels. 

1. The very fict that there are four lives, which strikes one as 
a fourfold blessing, and which surely is an advantage, carries with 
it also certain disadvantag:es. For a clear view of the life and 
teachings of our Lord, four fields are to be reaped instead of one. 

The early ages needed testimony ; our age needs teaching. 
Four witnesses are better for testimony. But for biography one 
complete narrative, combining in it the materials of the four, 
would have given a picture of our Lord more in accordance with 
the habits and wants of men in our day. 

This diversity of witnesses subserves other important ends. No 
single man could have represented all sides of the Saviour's 
teaching. A comparison of Matthew's Gospel with that of John 
will show how much Avould have been lost, had there been only a 
single collector and reporter of Christ's discourses. 

It is not easy, even for one trained to investigation, to gather 
out of the four Evano-elists a clear and consistent narrative of our 
Lord's ministry ; and still le^^sg will unstudious men succeed in 
doing it. 

No one will deny that every Christian man should seek a com- 
prehensive, and not a fragmentary, knowledge of his Lord. In 
other words, every Christian reader seeks, for himself, out of the 
other four, to weave a fifth life of Christ. Why should not this 
indispensable work be performed for men, with all the aids of 
elaborate investigation? 

2. The impression derived from this general view is greatly 
strengthened by a critical examination of the contents of the 

It is one of the striking facts in history, that One whose teach- 
ings were to revolutionize human ideas, and to create a new era 
in the world's affairs, did not commit a single syllal^le to paper, 
and did not organize a sino:le institution. An unlimited power of 




acting upon the world without these subsidiary and, to men, in- 
dispensable instruments, — viz. writing and organization, — and 
only by the enunciation of absolute truths in their relation to 
human conduct, is one of the marks of Divinity. 

There is no evidence that Jesus appointed any of his disciples 
to perform the work of an historian. None of them claim such 
authorization. Only Luke ^ makes any reference to the motives 
which led him to undertake the task of writing, and he claims no 
other than a personal desire to record a knowledge which he 
deemed fuller than that of others. 

The four Gospels are evidently final and authoritative collec- 
tions of oral histories and compilations of narratives which were 
already circulating among the early Christians. In the cases of 
Matthew and John, these materials were wrought upon the fabric 
of their own personal observation and experience. 

There is in none of them any consistent regard to the order of 
time or of place. The principle of arrangement evidently is to 
be found in the moral sunilarities of the materials, and not in then- 
chronological sequences. Different events are clustered together 
which were widely separated. Whole chapters of parables are 
given as if they had been delivered in a single discourse. We 
should never have known from Matthew, Mark, or Luke, that our 
Lord was accustomed to go up to Jerusalem to the great Jewish 
feasts ; but we do get it from John, who is mainly concerned with 
the history and discourses of his Master in Judaea. Matthew, on 
the other hand, bestows his attention upon that part of the 
Saviour's life which was spent in Galilee. Moreover, he seldom 
enters, as John does, upon interior and profoundly spiritual ex- 
periences. John almost as little notices the merely external facts 
and events of the Lord's life, which Matthew habitually regards.^ 

1 Luke i. 1 -4. " Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a dec- 
laration of those things which are most surely believed among us, even as they delivered 
them unto us, which from the beginning were eye-witnesses and ministers of the word ; it 
seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, 
to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, that thou mightest know the cer- 
taintv of those things wherein thou hast been instructed." _ 

^ ''The first three Evangelists describe especially those things which Christ did in our 
flesh, and relate the precepts which He delivered on the duties to be performed by us, 
while we walk on earth and dwell in the flesh. But St. John soars to heaven, as an eagle, 
above the clouds of human infirmity, and reveals to us the mysteries of Christ's Godhead, 
and of the Trinity in Unity, and the felicities of Life Eternal, and gazes on the Light ct 




In their 8tructure the EvangeUcal narratives have been well 
compared to Xenophon's Memorabilia of Socrates. They are 
clusters of events, parables, miracles, discourses, in which the 
order of time is sometimes obscure, and sometimes wholly in- 

In every age of the Church it has been deemed wise to at- 
tempt to form a harmony of the four Gospels. Since the year 
A. D. 1500, there have been more than fftf/ harmonies made by 
most eminent Christian scholars. Of Lives of Christ and Har- 
monies there have l^een more than one hundred and fiftij. 

But for some such help, the difficulties arising from a compari- 
son of the different narratives would be insolu]jle. Many obsta- 
cles are thus removed, many apparent contradictions are congru- 
ously explained, many apparent inconsistencies are harmonized ; 
and it is shown that, of the inexplicable facts remaining, none 
are important, — certainly not as respects the great truths or the 
essential events of the narrative. 

3. It is probable that no equal amount of truth was ever ex- 
pressed in a mode so well fitted for universal circulation. And 
yet, as the Gospels were written b}^ Jews, and with primary ref- 
erence to certain wants of the age in which the writers lived, 
they are full of allusions, references, customs, and beliefs, Avhicli 
have long since passed away or have Ijecome greatly modified. 
There are also in the New Testament allusions to customs of 
which there is no knowledge whatever preserved. 

But fixr more important is it to observe the habits of thought, 
the whole mental attitude of the Apostolic age, and the change 
which has since come upon the world. Truths remain the same ; 
but every age has its own style of thought. Although this differ- 
ence is not so great as is the difference between one language 
and another, it is yet so great as to require restatement or, as it 
were, translation. The truth which Paul argues to the Romans 
is as important for us as it was for them. But we are not Jews.^ 
We care nothing for circumcision. The Hebrew law has never 

Immutable Truth with a keen and steady ken." — Ht. Axujust'me, translated by Dr. Words- 
worth. Introduction to Connnentaries on the New Testament. 

^ Jews were dispersed through all the civilized world, and in general, both in Greek 
and Roman cities, there were synagogues, in which the Old Testament Scriptures were 
read, and in which the Apostles made known to their own countrymen the fulfilment of 
those Scriptures in the history of our Lord. See Acts xxviii. 16- 24. 

[^3-^ ^ 


entangled us. We have our prejudices and obstinacies, but they 
are not the same as those Avhich the Apostle combated. The 
truth of the Epistle to the Romans, when separated from the 
stalk and ear on which it grew, is of universal nutriment. But 
in Paul's own day the stem and the husk also were green and 
succulent ; they were living and indispensable parts of his state- 
ment of the truth. Far less is this distinction applicable to the 
Gospels, and yet it is, in a measure, true of them. 

Our ao-e has developed wants no deeper, perhaps, nor more 
important, than those in the Apostolic age, but needs essentially 
different. We live for different ends. We have other aspira- 
tions. We are plagued with new infidelities of our own. We 
are proud in a different way, and vain after our own manner. To 
meet all these ever-changing necessities of the human heart and 
of society, men are ordained to preach the gospel. If merely 
reading the text as it was originally delivered Avere enough, why 
should there be preachers ? It is the business of preachers to re- 
adapt truth, from age to age, to men's ever-renewing wants. 

And what is this, but doing by single passages of Scripture 
what a Life of Christ attempts to do systematically, and in some 
dramatic form, for the wdiole ? Some have said, almost contemp- 
tuously, '' The only good Lives of Christ are those by the four 
Evangelists." And yet these very men are so little content witli 
these same Evangehsts, that they spend their lives in restating, 
illustrating, and newly applying the substance and matter of the 
Evangelical writings, — thus by their own most sensible example 
refutincr their own most foolish criticism ! 

4. But there are reasons yet deeper why the Life of Christ 
should be rewritten for each and every age. The life of the 
Christian Church has, in one point of view, been a gradual unfold- 
ing and interpretation of the spiritual truths of the Gospels. The 
knowledge of the human heart, of its yearnings, its failures, its 
sins and sorrows, has immensely increased in the progress of 

Has nothing been learned by the Christian world of the meth- 
ods of moral' government, of the communion of the Holy Ghost, 
of the power of the Divine Spirit to cleanse, enrich, and fire the 
soul, after so many centuries of experience ? Has this world no 
lore of love, no stores of fiiith, no experience of joy unfolded 

\iu ^ 


from the original germs, which shall fit it to go back to the truths 
of the New Testament with a far larger understanding of their 
contents than tJw/ had who wrote them ? Prophets do not always 
understand their own visions ; Apostles deliver truths which are 
far deeper, and more glorious in their ulterior forms, than even 
their utterers suspect. 

It is both a privilege and a duty of the Church of Christ to 
gather up, from time to time, these living commentaries upon 
divine truth, — these divine interpretations, by means of human 
experience, of the truth as it is in Jesus, — and carry back this 
light and knowledge to the primal forms and symbols. Our Lord 
himself declared that his kingdom of truth was as a seed. But 
what shall interpret a seed like its own growth and harvest ? To 
us the narratives of the Gospel ought to mean far more than to 
the primitive disciple, or they have been germs without develop- 
ment, seed without a harvest. 

All critics of the Gospels, though, in each group, differing by 
many shades among themselves, may be reduced to two classes : — 

1. Those who believe that the writings of the Evangelists are 
authentic historical documents, that they were divinely inspired, 
and that the supernatural elements contained in them are real, 
and to be credited as much as any other parts of the history ; 
and, — 

2. Those who deny the inspiration of the Gospels, regarding 
them as unassisted human productions, filled with mistakes and 
inaccuracies ; especially, as filled with superstitions and pretended 

These latter critics set aside all traces of the supernatural. 
They feel at liberty to reject all miracles, either summarily, with 
" philosophic " contempt, or by explanations as wonderful as the 
miracles are marvellous. In effect, they act as if there could be no 
evidence except that which addresses itself to the material senses. 
Such reasoning chains philosophy to matter : to which statement 
many already do not object, but boldly claim that, in our present 
condition, no truth can be hioivn to men except that which con- 
forms itself to physical laws. There is a step further, and one 
that must soon be taken, if these reasons are logically consistent ; 
namely, to hold that there is no evidence of a God, unless Nature 
be that God. And this is Pantheism, which, being interj)reted, is 
Atheism. __ 

^ ^ 


We scarcely need to sa}'-, that we shall take our stand with 
those who accept the New Testament as a collection of veritable 
historical documents, with the record of miracles, and with the 
train of spiritual phenomena, as of absolute and literal truth. 
The miraculous element constitutes the very nerve-system of the 
Gospel. To Avithdraw it from credence is to leave the Gospel 
histories a mere shapeless mass of pulp. 

What is left when these venerable records are stripped of the 
ministry of angels, of the mystery of the diA'ine incarnation, of 
the wonders and miracles which accompanied our Lord at every 
step of his career? Christ's miracles were not occasional and oc- 
cult, but in a long series, with every degree of publicity, involv- 
ing almost every element of nature, and in numbers so great that 
they are summed up as comprehending whole villages, towns, 
and neighl)orhoods in their benefjictions. The)' produced an ex- 
citement in the puljlic mind so great that ofttimes secrecy was 
enjoined, lest the Roman government should interfere. 

That Christ should be the centre and active ciiuse of such 
stupendous imposture, on the supposition that miracles were but 
deceptions, shocks the moral feeling of those even who disbelieve 
his divinity. Widely as men differ on everj^ topic connected with 
the Christ, there is one ground on which all stand together, 
namely, that Jesus was good. Even Infidelity would feel be- 
reaved in the destruction of Christ's moral character. But to 
save that, and yet to explain away the miracles which he wrought, 
has put ingenuity to ludicrous shifts. 

REisTAisr, to save the character of his poetic hero, is obliged to 
depict him as the subject of an enthusiasm which grew upon him 
until it became a self-deceiving fanaticism. It seems, then, that 
the whole world has been under the influence of one who was 
not an impostor, only because he was mildly insane ! 

That such a conclusion should give no pain to men utterly des- 
titute of religious aspirations may well be conceived. But all 
others, looking upon this wanton and needless procedure, will 
adopt the language of Mary, and say, " They have taken away 
my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him." 



THE shepherds' FIELD. 



HAD it been the design of Divine Providence that the Gos- 
-peh should be wrought up hke a poem for hterary and ar- 
tistic effect, surely the narrative of the angelic appearances would 
have glowed in all the colors of an Oriental morning. They are, 
indeed, to those who have an eye to discern, a wonderful and ex- 
quisitely tinted prelude to the dawn of a glorious day. It is not 
to be supposed that the earth and its dull inhabitants knew what 
was approaching. But heavenly spirits knew it. There was 
movement and holy ecstasy in the Uj)per Air, and angels seem, 
as birds when new-come in spring, to have flown hither and 
thither, in songful mood, dipping their white wings into our at- 
mosphere, just touching the earth or glancing along its surface, 
as sea-birds skim the surface of the sea. And yet birds are far 
too rude, and wings too burdensome, to express adequately that 
feeling of unlaljored angelic motion which the narrative produces 
upon the imagination. Their airy and gentle coming would per- 
haps be better compared to the glow of colors flung by the sun 
upon morning clouds that seem to be born just Avhere they ap- 
pear. Like a beam of light striking through some orifice, they 






shine 'upon Zacharias in the Temple. As the morning light finds 
the flowers, so found they the mother of Jesus. To the shep- 
herds' eyes they filled the midnight arch like auroral beams of 
light ; but not as silently, for they sang, and more marvellously 
than Avhen "the morning stars sang together and all the sons 
of God shouted for joy." 

The new era opens at Jerusalem. The pride with which a 
devout Jew looked upon Jerusalem can scarcely be imagined 
in our prosaic times. Men loved that city with such passion- 
ate devotion as we are accustomed to see bestowed only on a 
living person. When the doctrine of immortality grew more 
distinctly into the belief of holy men, no name could be found 
which would make the invisible world so attractive as that of 
the beloved city. New Jerusalem was the chosen name for 

Upon this city broke the morning rays of the Advent. A 
venerable priest, Zacharias, belonging to the retinue of the Tem- 
ple, had spent his whole life in the quiet offices of religion. He 
w^as married, but childless. To him happened a surprising thing. 

It Avas his turn to burn incense, 
— the most honorable function of 
the priest!}^ office. Upon the great 
altar of sacrifice, outside the holy 
of holies, the burnt-oftering was 
placed. At a signal the priest 
came forth, and, taking fire from 
this altar, he entered the inner 
and most sacred place of the Tem- 
ple, and there, before the altar of 
incense, putting the fragrant gum 
upon the coals, he swung the cen- 
ser, filling the air with wreaths of 
smoke. The people who had gath- 
ered on the outside, as soon as the smoke ascended silently sent 
up their prayers, of which the incense was the symbol. " And 
there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord,. standing on the 
right side of the altar." 

That he trembled with fear and awe is apparent from the 
ano-el's address,— " Fear not!" The key-note of the new dis- 






pensation was sounded ! Hereafter, God was to be brought 
nearer, to seem less terrible ; and a religion of the spirit and of 
love was soon to dispossess a religion of ceremonials and of 

" Fear not, Zacharias : for thy prayer is heard ; 
And thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, 
And thou shalt call his name John. 
And thou shalt have joy and gladness ; 
And many shall rejoice at his birth. 
For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, 
And shall drink neither wine nor strong drink ; 

And he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost even from his mother's womb. 
And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. 
And he shall go before hini in the spirit and power of Elias, 
To turn the hearts of the parents to the children. 
And the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; 
To make ready a people jirepared for the Lord," 

If this address, to our modern ears, seems stately and formal, 
it is to be remembered that no other language would seem so fit 
for a heavenly message to a Jewish priest as that which breathed 
the spirit of the Old Testament writings ; and that to us it savors 
of the sermon because it has since been so often used for the 
purposes of the sermon. 

But the laws of the material world seemed to the doubting 
priest more powerful than the promise of that God who made all 
physical laws. To this distinct promise of a son who should be- 
come a great reformer, and renew the power and grandeur of 
the prophetic office, he could only say, " Whereby shall I know 
this ? " His doubts should have begun earlier, or not at all. He 
should have rejected the whole vision, or should have accejoted 
the promise implicitly ; for what sign could be given so assuring 
as the very presence of the angel ? But the sign which he asked 
was given in a way that he could never forget. His speech de- 
parted ; silence was the sign ; — as if the priest of the Old was to 
teach no more until the coming of the New. 

When Zacharias came forth to the people, who were already 
impatient at his long delay, they perceived by his altered man- 
ner that some great experience had beftillen him. He could not 
speak, and could dismiss them only by a gesture. 

We have no certainty whether this scene occurred at a morn- 
ing or an evening service, but it is supposed to have been at the 

^ ^ 

^ ^ 


evening sacrifice. In that case the event was an impressive sym- 
bol. The people beheld their priest standing against the setting 
sun, dumb, while they dispersed in the twilight, the shadow of 
the Temple having already fallen upon them. The Old was pass- 
ing into darkness ; to-morrow another sun must rise ! 

Ehsabeth, the wife of Zacharias, returned to the "hill-country," 
or that region lying west and south of Jerusalem. The promise 
had begun to be fulfilled. All the promises made to Israel were 
pointing to their fulfilment through her. These promises, accu- 
mulating through ages, were ample enough, even in the letter, to 
fill a devout soul with ardent expectancy. But falling upon the 
imagination of a greatly distressed people, they had l^een mag- 
nified or refracted until the public mind was filled with inordi- 
nate and even fantastic expectations of the Messianic reign. It 
is not probable that any were altogether free from this delusion, 
not even the soberest and most spiritual natures. We can there- 
fore imagine but faintly the ecstatic hopes of Zacharias and Elis- 
abeth during the six months in which they were hidden in their 
home among the hills before the history again finds them. They 
are next introduced through the storj^ of another memorable 
actor m this drama, the mother of our Lord. 

It is difficult to speak of Mary, the mother of Jesus, both be- 
cause so little is known of her and because so much has been 
imagined. Around no other name in history has the imagina- 
tion thrown its w^itching light in so great a volume. In art she 
has divided honors with her divine Son. For a thousand years 
her name has excited the profoundest reverence and worship. 
A mother's love and forbearance with her children, as it is a 
universal experience, so is it the nearest image of the divine ten- 
derness which the soul can form. 

In attempting to present the Divine Being in his relations 
to universal government, men have wellnigh lost his personality 
in a sublime abstraction. Those traits of personal tenderness 
and generous love which alone w^ill ever draw the human heart 
to God, it has too often been obliged to seek elsewhere. And, 
however mistaken the endeavor to find in the. Virgin Mary the 
sympathy and fond familiarity of a divine fostering love, it is 
an error into which men have been drawn by the profoundest 
needs of the human soul. It is an error of the heart. The 

a- — ~ Lp 


cure will be found by revealing, in the Divine nature, the longed- 
for traits in greater beauty and force than are given them in the 
legends of the mother of Jesus. 

Meanwhile, if the doctors of theology have long hesitated to 
deify the Virgin, art has unconsciously raised her to the highest 
place. There is nothing in attitude, expression, or motion which 
has been left untried. The earlier Christian painters were con- 
tent to express her pure fervor, without relying upon the ele- 
ment of beauty. But as, age by age, imagination kindled, the 
canvas has given forth this divine mother in more and more 
glowing beauty, borrowing from the Grecian spirit all that was 
charming in the highest ideals of Venus, and adding to them an 
element of transcendent purity and devotion, which has no par- 
allel in ancient art. 

It is difficult for one Avhose eye has been steeped in the colors 
of art to go back from its enchantment to the barrenness of 
actual history. By Luke alone is the place even of her residence 
mentioned. It is onlj^ inferred that she was of the royal house 
of David. She was abeady espoused to a man named Joseph, 
but not as yet married. This is the sum of our knowledge of 
Mary at the point where her history is introduced. Legends 
abound, many of them charming, but like the innumerable faces 
which artists have painted, they gratify the imagination without 
adding anything to historic truth. 

The scene of the 'Annunciation will always be admirable in 
literature, even to those who are not disposed to accord it any 
historic value. To announce to an espoused virgin that she was 
to be the mother of a child, out of wedlock, by the unconscious 
Avorking in her of the Divine power, would, beforehand, seem in- 
consistent with delicacy. But no person of poetic sensibility can 
read the scene as it is narrated by Luke Avithout admiring its 
sublime purity and serenity. It is not a transaction of the lower 
world of passion. Things most difficult to a lower sphere are 
both easy and beautiful in that atmosphere Avhich, as it were, 
the angel brought doAvn Avith him. 

"And the angel came in unto her and said, Hail! thou that 
art highly favored ! The Lord is Avith thee ! " 

Then Avas announced the birth of Jesus, and that he should 
inherit and prolong endlessly the glories promised to Israel of 



old. To her mqiiiry, " How tshall this be ? " the angel re- 
plied : — 

" The Holy Ghost shall come ujxjii thee, 
And the power of the Ilij^hest shall overshadow thee ; 
Therefore also that holj thing which shall be born of thee 
Shall be called the Son of God." 

It was also made known to Mary that her cousin Elisabeth 
had conceived a son. And Mary said: "Behold the handmaid 
of the Lord ! Be it unto me according to thy word." 

Many have brought to this history the associations of a later 
day, of a different civilization, and of habits of thought foreitni 
to the whole cast of the Oriental mind. Out of a process so un- 
philosophical they have evolved the most serious doubts and dif 
Acuities. But no one is fitted to appreciate either the beauty or 
the truthfulness to nature of such a scene, who cannot in some 
degree carry himself back in sjanpathy to that Jewish maiden's 
life. The education of a Hebrew woman was far freer than 
that of women of other Oriental nations. She had more per- 
sonal liberty, a wider scope of intelligence, than obtained among 
the Greeks or even among the Romans. But above all, she re- 
ceived a moral education which placed her high above her sis- 
ters in other lands. 

It is plain that Mary was imbued with the spirit of the He- 
brew Scriptures. Not only was the history of her peojile familiar 
to her, but her language shows that the poetry of the Old Tes- 
tament had filled her soul. She was fitted to receive her peo- 
ple's history in its most romantic and spiritual aspects. They 
were God's peculiar people. Their historj^ unrolled before her 
as a series of wonderful providences. The path glowed with 
divine manifestations. Miracles blossomed out of every natural 
law. But to her there were no laws of nature. Such ideas had 
not yet been born. The earth was "the Lord's." All its phe- 
nomena were direct manifestations of his will. Clouds and storms 
came on errands from God. Liglit and darkness were the shin- 
ing or the hiding of his flice. Calamities were 2)unishments. Har- 
vests were divine gifts; famines were immediate divine penalties. 
To us God acts through instruments; to the Hebrew he acted 
immediately by his will. " He spake, and it was done ; he com- 
manded, and it stood fast." 



a- ^ 


To such a one as Mary there woiiltl l)e no increduhty as to 
the reahty of this angehc manifestation. Her only surprise would 
be that she should be chosen for a renewal of those divine inter- 
positions in behalf of her people of which their history was so 
full.- The very reason wdiich would lead us to susj^ect a miracle 
in our day gave it credibility in other days. It is simply a ques- 
tion of adaptation. A miracle as a blind appeal to the moral 
sense, without the use of the reason, was adapted to the earlier 
periods of human life. Its usefulness ceases wdien the moral 
sense is so developed that it can find its own way through the 
ministration of the reason. A miracle is a substitute for moral 
demonstration, and is peculiarly adapted to the early conditions 
of mankind. 

Of all miracles, there was none more sacred, congruous, and 
grateful to a Hebrew than an angelic visitation. A devout Jew, 
in looking back, saw angels flying thick between the heavenly 
throne and the throne of his fathers. The greatest events of 
national history had been made illustrious by their presence. 
Their work began wdth the primitive pair. They had come at 
evening {o Abraham's tent. They had waited upon Jacob's foot- 
steps. They had communed with Moses, with the judges, wdth 
priests and magistrates, with prophets and holy men. All the 
way down from the beginning of history, the pious Jew saw 
the shining footsteps of these heavenly messengers. Nor had 
the faith died out in the long interval through which their visits 
had been withheld. Mary could not, therefore, be surprised at 
the coming of angels, but only that they should come to her. 

It may seem strange that Zacharias should be struck dumb for 
doubting the heavenly messenger, while Mary went unrebuked. 
But it is plain that there was a wide difference in the nature 
of the relative experiences. To Zacharias was promised an event 
external to himself, not involving his own sensibility. But to a 
woman's heart there can be no other announcement possible that 
shall so stir every feeling and sensibility of the soul, as the prom- 
ise and prospect of her first child. Motherhood is the very cen- 
tre of womanhood. The first awaking in her soul of the reality 
that she bears a double life — herself within herself — brings a 
sweet bewilderment of wonder and joy. The more sure her 
faith of the fact, the more tremulous must her soul become. 

^ -#) 


Such an announcement can never mean to a father's what it 
does to a mother's heart. And it is one of the exquisite shades 
of subtle truth, and of beauty as well, that the angel who re- 
buked Zacharias for doubt saw nothing in the trembling hesi- 
tancy and wonder of Mary inconsistent with a childhke faith. 

If the heart swells with the hope of a new life in the common 
lot of mortals, with what profound feeling must Mary have pon- 
dered the angel's promise to her son ! 

" He shall be great, and sliall be called the Son of the Highest ; 
And the Lord God shall give him the throne of liis father David ; 
And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever, 
And of his kingdom there shall be no end." 

It is expressly stated that Joseph was of the " house of David," 
but there is no evidence that Mary was of the same, except this 
implication, " The Lord God sliall give him the throne of his 
flither David." Since Joseph was not his father, it could only 
be through his mother that he could trace his lineage to David. 

There is no reason to suppose that Mary was more enlight- 
ened than those among whom she dwelt, or that she gave to 
these words that spiritual sense in which alone they have proved 
true. To her, it may be supposed, there arose a vague idea that 
her son was destined to be an eminent teacher and deliverer. 
She would naturally go back in her mind to the instances, in 
the history of her own people, of eminent men and women 
who had been raised up in dark times to deliver their people. 

She lived in the very region which Deborah and Barak liad 
made famous. Almost before her eyes lay the plains on which 
great deliverances had been wrought by heroes raised up by the 
God of Israel. But that other glory, of spiritual deliverance, was 
hidden from her. Or, if that influence wdiich overshadowed her 
awakened in her the spiritual vision, it was doubtless to reveal 
that her son was to be something more than a mere worldly 
conqueror. But it was not for her to discern the glorious real- 
ity. It hung in the future as a dim brightness, whose partic- 
ular form and substance could not be discerned. For it is not 
to be supposed that Mary — prophet as every woman is — could 
discern that spiritual truth of the promises of the Old Testament 
which his own disciples did not understand after companying 
with Jesus for three years, nor yet after his ascension, nor until 




the fire of the pentecostal clay had kindled in them the eye 
of flame that iDierces all things and discerns the spirit. 

"And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill-coun- 
try with haste, into a city of Juda, and entered into the house of 
Zacharias and saluted Elisabeth." 

The overshadowing Spirit had breathed upon her the new 
life. What woman of deep soul was ever unthrilled at the mys- 
tery of life beating within life ? And what Jewish woman, de- 
voutly believing that in her child were to be fulfilled the hopes 
of Israel, could hold this faith without excitement almost too 
great to be borne ? She could not tarry. With haste she trod 
that way which she had doubtless often trod before in her an- 
nual ascent to the Temple. Every village, every brook, every 
hill, must have awakened in her some sad recollection of the 
olden days of her people. There was Tabor, from which came 
down Barak and his men. And in the great plain of Esdraelon 
he fought Sisera. The waters of Kishon, murmurmg at her feet, 
must have recalled the song of Deborah. Here, too, Josiah was 
slain at Megiddo, and " the mourning of Hadad-Rimmon in the 
valley of Megiddon" became the by-word of grief Mount Gil- 
boa rose upon her from the east. Ebal and Gerizim stood forth 
in remembrance of the sublime drama of blessings and cursings. 
Then came Shechem, the paradise of Palestine, in whose neigh- 
borhood Joseph was buried. This pilgrim may have quenched her 
thirst at noonda}^, as afterwards her son did, at the well of Jacob ; 
and farther to the south it might be that the oak of Mamre, 
under which the patriarch dwelt, cast its great shadow upon her. 



— ^ ' ^ft 


It is plain from the song of Mary, of which we shall speak in 
a moment, that she bore in mind the history of the mother of 
Samnel, wife of Elkanah, who dwelt in this region, and whose 
song, at the presentation of Samuel to the priest at Shiloh, seems 
to have been the mould in which Mary unconsciously cast her 

Thus, one after another, Mary must have passed the most 
memorable spots in her people's history. Even if not sensitive 
to patriotic influences, — still more if she was alive to such sacred 
and poetic associations, — she must have come to her relative 
Elisabeth with flaming heart. 

Well she might ! What other mystery in human life is so 
profound as the beginning of life ? From the earliest days wo- 
men have called themselves blessed of God when life begins to 
palpitate within their bosom. It is not education, but nature, 
that inspires such tender amazement. Doubtless even the In- 
dian woman in such periods dwells consciously^ near to the Great 
Spirit ! Every one of a deep nature seems to herself more sa- 
cred and more especially under the divine care while a new life, 
moulded by the divine hand, is s^Dringing into being. For, of 
all creative acts, none is so sovereign and divine. Who shall 
reveal the endless musings, the perpetual prophecies, of the 
mother's soul ? Her thoughts dwell upon the unknown child, 
— thoughts more in number than the ripples of the sea upon 
some undiscovered shore. To others, in such hours, woman 
should seem more sacred than the most solemn temple ; and 
to herself she must needs seem as if overshadowed by the 
Holy Ghost! 

To this natural elevation were added, in the instance of Mary 
and Elisabeth, those vague but exalted expectations arising from 
the angelic annunciations. Both of them believed that the whole 
future condition of their nation was to be intimately affected by 
the lives of their sons. 

And Mary said : — 

" My soul doth magnify the Lord, 
And my sjiirit hath rojoicod in God my Saviour. 
For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden ; 
For, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. 
For He that is mighty hath done to me great things ; 
And holy is his name. 

^ ^ 



And bis mercy is on them that fear liini 

From generation to generation. 

He hath shewed strength with his arm ; 

He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. 

He hath put down the mighty fi'om their seats, 

And exalted them of low degree. 

He hath filled the hungry with good things ; 

And the rich he hath sent empty away. 

He hath holpen his servant Israel, 

In rememljrance of his mercy ; 

As he spake to our lathers, 

To Abraham, and to his seed forever." 

Unsympathizing critics remark upon the similarity of this 
chant of Mary's with the song of Hannah,^ the mother of Sam- 
uel. Inspiration served to kindle the materials already in pos- 

' " My heart rejoiceth in the Lord ; 
My horn is exalted in the Lord ; 
My mouth is enlai-ged over mine enemies ; 
Because I rejoice in thy salvation. 
There is none holy as the Lord ; 
For there is none beside thee ; 
Neither is there any rock like our God. 
Talk no more so exceeding proudly : 
Let not arrogancy come out of yoiu" mouth : 
For the Lord is a God of knowledge, 
And by him actions are weighed. 
The bows of the mighty men are broken. 
And they that stumbled are girded with strength. 
They that were full have hired out themselves for bread ; 
And they that were hungry ceased ; 
So that the barren hath borne seven ; 
And she that hath many children is waxed feeble. 
The Lord killeth, and maketh alive : 
He bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. 
The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich : 
He bringeth low, and lifteth up. 
He raiseth up the poor out of the dust. 
And lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill. 
To set them among princes. 
And to make them inherit the throne of glory : 
For the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, 
And he hath set the world upon them. 
He will keep the feet of his saints, 
And the wicked shall be silent in darkness : 
For by strength shall no man prevail. 
The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces ; 
Out of heaven shall he thunder upon them : 
The Lord shall judge the ends of the earth ; 
And he shall give strength unto his King, 
And exalt tlie horn of his Anointed." 



^ -0^ 


session of the mind. This Hebrew maiden had stored her im- 
agination with the poetic elements of the Old Testament. But, 
of all the treasures at command, only a 'devout and grateful na- 
ture would have made so unselfish a selection. For it is not 
upon her own blessedness that Mary chiefly dwells, but upon 
the sovereignty, the goodness, and the glory of God. To be 
exalted by the joy of our personal prosperity above self-con- 
sciousness into the atmosphere of thanksgiving and adoration, 
is a sure sign of nobility of soul. 

For three months these sweet and noble women dwelt to- 
gether, performing, doubtless, the simple labors of the house- 
hold. Their thoughts, their converse, their employments, must 
be left wholly to the imagination. And yet, it is impossible 
not to be curious in regard to these hidden days of Judaea, 
when the mother of our Lord was already fashioning that sa- 
cred form which, in due time, not far from her residence, per- 
haps within the very sight of it, was to be lifted up upon the 
cross. But it is a research which we have no means of pur- 
suing. Her thoughts must be impossible to us, as our thoughts 
of her son were impossible to her. No one can look forward, 
even in the spirit of prophecy, to see after-things in all their 
fulness as they shall be ; nor can one who has knoAvn go back 
again to see as if he had not known. 

After Mary's return to Nazareth, Elisabeth was delivered of 
a son. Following the custom of their peojile, her friends would 
have named him after his father, but the mother, mindful of the 
name given by the angel, called him John. An appeal was made 
to the priest — who probably was deaf as well as dumb, for they 
made signs to him — how the child should be named. Calling 
for writing-materials, he surprised them all by naming him as 
his wife had, — John. At once the sign ceased. His lips were 
unsealed, and he jjroke forth into thanksgiving and praise. All 
the circumstances conspired to awaken wonder and to spread 
throughout the neighborhood mysterious expectations, men say- 
ing, "What manner of child shall this be?" 

The first chapter of Luke may be considered as the last leaf 
of the Old Testament, so saturated is it with the heart and 
spirit of the olden times. And the song of Zacharias clearly 
reveals the state of feeling among the best Jews of that day. 

^ ^ 



Their nation was grievously pressed down by foreign despotism. 
Their people were scattered through the world. The time was 
exceedingly dark, and the promises of the old prophets served 
by contrast to make their present distress yet darker. We are 
not surprised, therefore, to find the first portion of Zacharias's 
chant sensitively recognizing the degradations and sufferings of 
his people : — 

" Blessed be the Lord God of Israel ; 
For he hath visited and redeemed his people, 
Ami hath raised up an horn of salvation for us 
In the house of his servant David 
(As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, 
Which have been since the world began) ; 
That we should be saved from our enemies, 
And from the hand of all that hate us ; 
To pertbrm the mercy promised to our fathers, 
And to remember his holy covenant, 
The oath which he sware to our father Abraham. 
That he would grant unto us. 

That we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies 
Might serve him without fear, 
In holiness and righteousness before him. 
All the days of our life." 

Then, as if seized with a spirit of prophecy, and beholding the 
relations and offices of his son, in language as poetically beautifid 
as it is spiritually triumphant he exclaims : — 

" And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest : 
For thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways ; 
To give knowledge of salvation unto his people 
By the remission of their sins, 
Through the tender mercy of our God ; 
Whereby the day-spring from on high hath visited us, 
To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, 
To guide our feet into the way of peace." 

Even in his childhood John manifested that fulness of nature 
and that earnestness which afterwards fitted him for his mission. 
He "waxed strong in spirit." He did not mingle in the ordi- 
nary pursuits of men. As one who bears a sensitive conscience 
and refuses to mingle in the throng of men of low morality, he 
stood apart and was solitary. He "was in the deserts until the 
day of his showing unto Israel." 

Mary had returned to Nazareth. Although Joseph, to whom 
she was betrothed, was descended from David, every sign of 

^ ^ ^ 

^ — Q] 


royalty had died out. He earned his livehhood by Avorking in 
wood, probably as a carpenter, though the word applied to his 
trade admits of much larger application. Tradition has uni- 
formly represented him as a carpenter, and art has conformed 
to tradition. He appears but on the threshold of the history. 
He goes to Egypt, returns to Nazareth, and is faintly recognized 
as present when Jesus was tw^elye years of age. But nothing 
more is heard of him. If alive when his reputed son entered 
upon public ministry, there is no sign of it. And as Mary is 
often mentioned in the history of the Lord's mission, it is proba- 
ble that Joseph died before Jesus entered upon his public life. 
He is called a just man, and we know that he was humane. For 
when he perceived the condition of his betrothed wife, instead 
of pressing to its full rigor the Jewish law against her, he meant 
quietly and without harm to set her aside. When in a vision 
he learned the truth, he took Mary as his wife. 

In the thousand pictures of the Holy Family, Joseph is repre- 
sented as a venerable man, standing a little apart, lost in contem- 
plation, while Mary and Elisabeth caress the child Jesus. In this 
respect. Christian art has, it is probable, rightly represented the 
character of Joseph. He was but a shadow on the canvas. Such 
men are found in every community, — gentle, blameless, mildly 
active, but exerting no positive influence. Except in one or two 
vague implications, he early disappears from sight. No mention 
is made of his death, though he must have deceased long before 
Mary, who in all our Lord's ministry appears alone. He reap- 
pears in the ecclesiastical calendar as St. Joseph, simply because 
he was the husband of Mary, — a harmless saint, mild and silent. 

An imperial order having issued for the taxing of the whole 
nation, it became necessary for every one, according to the cus- 
tom of the JeAvs, to repair to the city where he belonged, for 

^ It is needless to consider the difficulty to which this passage has given rise. Josephus 
states that Quirinius (Cyrenius) became governor of eJudiea after the death of Archelaus, 
Herod's son and heir, and so some eight or ten years after the birth of Christ. How 
then could that taxing have brought Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem ? The im- 
mense ingenuity which has been employed to solve this difficulty will scarcely add to 
the ^-alae of hjpothetical historical reasoning. Especially when now, at length, it is as- 
certained ujjon grounds almost certain, that Quirinius was ticlce governor of Syria. Sec 
SchafF's note to Lange's Com. (Luke, pp. 32, 33), and the more full discussion in Smith's 
Bible Dictlonari/, Art. " Cyrenius." 




. _ ._^I^ 


From Nazareth to Bethlehem was about eighty miles. Trav- 
elling slowly, as the condition of Mary required, they would prob- 
ably occupy about four days in reaching their destination. Al- 
ready the place was crowded with others brought thither on the 
same errand. They probably sought shelter in a cottage, for 
"the inn was full," and there Mary gave birth to her child. 

It is said by Luke that the child was laid in a manger, from 
which it has been inferred that his parents had taken refuge in 
a stable. But tradition asserts that it was a cave, such as abound 
in the limestone rock of that region, and are used both for shel- 
tering herds and, sometmies, for human residences. The precip- 
itous sides of the rock are often pierced in such a way that a 
cottage built near might easily convert an adjoining cave to the 
uses of an outbuilding. 

Caves are not rare in Palestine, as with us. On the contrary, 
the whole land seems to be honeycombed with them. They are, 
and have been for ages, used for almost every purpose which 
architecture supplies in other lands, — as dwellings for the living 
and sepulchres for the dead, as shelter for the household and for 
cattle and herds, as hidden retreats for robbers, and as defensive 
positions or rock-castles for soldiers. Travellers make them a 
refuge when no better inn is at hand. They are shaped into 
reservoirs for water, or, if dry, they are employed as granaries. 
The limestone of the region is so porous and soft, that but a 
little labor is required to enlarge, refashion, and adapt caves to 
any desirable purpose. 

Of the " manger," or " crib," Thomson, long a missionary in Pal- 
estine, says : " It is common to find two sides of the one room, 
where the native farmer resides with his cattle, fitted ujd with 
these mangers, and the remainder elevated about two feet higher 
for the accommodation of the famity. The mangers are built of 
small stones and mortar, in the shape of a box, or, rather, of a 
kneading-trough, and when cleaned up and whitewashed, as they 
often are in summer, they do very well to lay little babes in. 
Indeed, our own children have slept there in our rude summer 
retreats on the mountains."^ 

The laying of the little babe in the manger is not to be re- 
garded then as an extraordinary thing, or a positive hardship. 

^ Thomson's Tlie Land and the Bool:, Vol. II. p. 98. 


[0 — Q] 


It was merely siiljjecting the child to ji custom Avliich peasants 
frequently practised with their children. Jesus began his life 
with and as the lowest. 

About five miles south of Jerusalem, and crowning the top 
and sides of a narrow ridge or spur which shoots out eastwardly 
from the central mass of the Juda3an hills, was the village of 
Bethlehem. On every side but the western, the hill breaks 
down abruptly into deep valleys. The steep slopes were ter- 
raced and cultivated from top to bottom. 'A little to the east- 
ward is a kind of plain, where it is supposed the shepherds, of 
all shepherds that ever lived now the most famous, tended their 
flocks. The great fruitfulness of its fields is supposed to have 
given to Bethlehem its name, which signifies the " House of 
Bread." Famous as it has become, it was but a hamlet at the 
birth of Jesus. Here King David was born, but there is nothing 
to indicate that he retained any special attachment to the place. 
In the rugged valleys and gorges which abound on every side, 
he had watched his father's flocks and had become inured to 
danger and to toil, defending his charge on the one hand against 
wild beasts, and On the other against the scarcely less savage 
predatory tribes that infested the region south and east. From 
Bethlehem one may look out upon the very fields made beauti- 
ful forever to the imagination by the charming id}^ of David's 
ancestress, Ruth the Moabitess. Changed as Bethlehem itself is, 
which, from holding a mere handful then, has a joopulation now 
of some four thousand, customs and the face of nature remain 
the same. The hills are terraced, the fields are tilled, flocks are 
tended by laborers unchanged in garb, working with the same 
kinds of implements, having the same manners, and employing 
the same salutations as in the days of the patriarchs. 

Were Boaz to return to-day, he would hardly see an unfa- 
miliar thing in his old fields, — the barley harvest, the reapers, 
the gleaners, the threshing-floors, and the rude threshing, — all 
are there as they were thousands of j^ears ago. 

At the season of our Saviour's advent, the nights were soft 
and genial.^ It was no hardship for rugged shepherds to spend 

^ This is true, -whicliever date shall be selected of the many whii-h have been urm'd In- 
different learned men. But further than this there is no certainty. " In the primitive 
Church there was no agreement as to the time of Christ's birth. In the East the (Jth of 

^ ^ 


the night in the fields with their flocks. By day, as the sheep 
fed, their keepers might while away their time with sights and 
sounds along the earth. When darkness shut in the scene, the 
heavens would naturally attract their attention. Their eyes had 
so long kept company with the mysterious stars, that, doubtless, 
like shepherds of more ancient times, they were rude astrono- 
mers, and had grown familiar with the planets, and knew them 
in all their courses. But there came to them a night surpass- 
ing all nights in wonders. Of a sudden the Avhole heavens were 
filled with light, as if morning were come upon midnight. Out of 
this sj^lendor a single voice issued, as of a choral leader, — "Be- 
hold, I bring you glad tidings of great joy." The shepherds were 
told of the Saviour's birth, and of the place where the babe might 
be found. Then no longer a single voice, but a host in heaven, 
was heard celebrating the event. "Suddenly there was with the 
angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 

" Glory to God in the highest, 
And on earth peace, good-will toward men." 

Raised to a fervor of wonder, these children of the field made 
haste to find the babe, and to make known on every side the 
marvellous vision. Moved by this faith to worshij) and to glorify 
God, they were thus unconsciously the earliest disciples and the 
first evangelists, for " they made known abroad the saying which 
was told them concerning this child." 

In beautiful contrast with these rude exclamatory worshippers, 
the mother is described as silent and thoughtful. " Mary kept 

January was observed as the day of his baptism and birth. In the third century, as 
Clement of Alexandria relates, some regarded the 20th of May, others the 20th of AjDril, 
as the birthday of our Saviour. Among modern chronologists and biographers of Jesus 
there is still greater difference of opinion, and every month — even June and July (when 
the fields are parched from want of rain) — has been named as the time when the great 
event took place. Lightfoot assigns the Nativity to September, Lardner and Newcome to 
October, Wieseler to February, Paulus to March, Greswell and Alfera to the 5th of April, 
just afler the spring rains, when there is an abundance of pasture ; Lichtenstein places it 
in July or December, Strong in August, Robinson in autumn, Clinton in spring, Andrews 
between the middle of December, 749, and the middle of January, 750, A. U. C On the 
other hand, Roman Catholic historians and biographers of Jesus, as Lepp, Friedlieb, 
Bucher, Patritius, and also some Protestant writers, defend the popular tradition, — the 
25th of December. Wordsworth gives up the problem, and thinks that the Holy Spirit 
has concealed the knowledge of the year and day of Christ's birth and the duration of his 
ministry from the wise and prudent, to teach them humility." — Dr. Schaff, in Lange's 
Comvientary (Luke, p. 36). 



all these tilings and pondered them in her heart." If no woman 
comes to herself until she loves, so, it may be said, she knows 
not how to love until her first-born is in her arms. Sad is it 
for her who does not feel herself made sacred by motherhood. 
That heart-pondering ! Who may tell the thoughts which rise 
from the deep places of an inspired love, more in number and 
more beautiful than the particles of vapor which the sun draws 
from the surface of the sea? 

Intimately as a mother must feel that her babe is connected 
with her own body, even more she is wont to feel that her child 
comes direct from God. God-given is a fjimiliar name in every 
lansruage. Not from her Lord came this child to Mary. It was 
her Lord himself that came. 

A sweet and trusting fliitli in God, childlike simplicity, and 
profound love seem to have formed the nature of Mary. She 
may be accepted as the type of Christian motherhood. In this 
view, and excluding the dogma of her immaculate nature, and 
still more emphatically that of any other participation in divin- 
ity than that which is common to all, we may receive with 
pleasure the stores of exquisite pictures with which Christian 
art has filled its realm. The '' Madonnas " are so many tributes 
to the beauty and dignity of motherhood ; and they may stand 
so interpreted, now that the superstitious associations which they 
have had are so wholly worn away. At any rate, the Protestant 
reaction from Mary has gone far enough, and, on our own 
grounds, we may well have our share also in the memory of 
this sweet and noble woman. 

The same reason which led our Lord to clothe himself with 
fiesh made it proper, when he w^as born, to have fulfilled upon 
him all the customs of his people. He was therefore circumcised 
when eight days old, and presented in the Temple on the fortieth 
day, at which period his mother had completed the time ajo- 
pointed for her purification. The offering required was a lamb 
and a dove ; but if the parents were poor, then two doves. 
Mary's humble condition was indicated by the offering of two 
doves. And yet, if she had heard the exclamation of John after 
the Lord's baptism, years afterwards, she might have perceived 
that, in spite of her poverty, she had brought the Lamb, divine 
and precious ! 

a— ^ ^ ^ 


Surprise upon surprise aAvaited Mary. There dwelt at Jerusa- 
lem, wrapped in his own devout and longing thoughts, a great 
nature, living contentedly in obscurity, Simeon by name. This 
venerable man seized the child with holy rapture, when it was 
presented in the Temple, and broke forth in the very spirit of a 
prophet : — 

" Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, 
According to thy word : 
For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, 
Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people ; 
A light to lighten the Gentiles, 
And the glory of thy people Israel." 

Both Mary and JosejDli were amazed, but there was something 
in Mary's appearance that drew this inspired old man specially to 
her. " Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of 

many in Israel Yea, a sword shall pierce through thme 

own soul also." 

As the asters, among plants, go all summer long unbeautiful, 
their flowers hidden within, and burst into bloom at the very 
end of summer and in late autumn, with the frosts upon their 
heads, so this aged saint had blossomed, at the close of a long 
life, into this noble ecstasy of joy. In a stormy time, when out- 
ward life moves wholly against one's wishes, he is truly great 
whose soul becomes a sanctuary in which patience dwells with 
hope. In one hour Simeon received full satisfaction for the 
yearnings of many years ! 

Among the .Jews, more perhaps than in any other Oriental 
nation, woman was permitted to develop naturally, and liberty 
was accorded her to participate in things which other people 
reserved with zealous seclusion for men. Hebrew women were 
prophetesses, teachers (2 Kings xxii. 14), judges, queens. The 
advent of our Saviour was hailed appropriately by woman, — 
Anna, the prophetess, joining with Simeon in praise and thanks- 

But other witnesses were preparing. Already the footsteps 
of strangers afar off Avere advancing toward Judaea. Erelong 
Jerusalem was thrown into an excitement by the arrival of 
certain sages, probably from Persia. The city, like an uneasy 
volcano, was always on the eve of an eruption. When it was 
known that these pilgrims had come to inquire about a king, 







who, they behevecl, had been born, a king of the Jews, the news 
excited both the city and the palace, — hope in one, fear in the 
other. Herod dreaded a rival. The Jews longed for a native 
prince whose arm should expel the intrusive government No 
wonder that " Herod was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him." 
He first summoned the Jewish scholars, to know where, accord- 
ing to their prophets, the Messiah was to be born. Bethlehem 
was the place of prediction. Next, he summoned the Magi, 
secretly, to learn of them at what time the revealing star had 
appeared to them, and then, craftily veifing his cruel purposes 
with an assumed interest, he charges them, when the child was 
found, to let him be a worshipper too ! 

The same star which had drawn their footsteps to Jerusalem 
now guided the wise men to the very place of Jesus' birth. 

What was this star? All that can 
be known is, that it was some appear- 
ance of light in the sky, which by 
these Oriental philosophers was sup- 
posed to indicate a great event. In- 
genuity has unnecessarily been exer- 
cised to prove that at about this time 
there was a conjunction of three plan- 
ets. But did the same thing happen 
again, after their arrival at Jerusalem ? 
For it is stated that, on their leaving 
the city to go to Bethlehem, "lo, the 
star which they saw in the east went 
before them till it came and stood over where the young child 
was." How could a planetary conjunction stand over a particu- 
lar house ? It is evident that the sidereal guide was a globe of 
light, divinely ordered and appointed for this work. It was a 
miracle. That nature is but an organized outworking of the 
divine will, that God is not limited to ordinary law in the pro- 
duction of results, that he can, and that he does, produce events 
by the direct force of his will without the ordinary instruments 
of nature, is the very spirit of the whole Bible. 

These gleams of immediate power flash through in every age. 
The superiority of spiritual power over sensuous, is the illumi- 
nating truth of the New Testament. The gospels should be 

(Called "The Star of Bethlehem.''') 






taken or rejected unmutilated. The disciples plucked the wheatr 
heads, and, rubbing them in their hands, they ate the grain. 
But our sce23tical believers take from the New Testament its 
supernatural element, — rub out the Avheat, — and eat the chaff. 
There is consistency in one who sets the gospels aside on the 
ground that they are not inspired, that they are not even his- 
torical, that they are growths of the imagination, and covered 
all over with the parasites of superstition ; but in one who pro- 
fesses to accept the record as an inspired history, the disposition 
to pare miracles down to a scientific shape, to find their roots 
in natural laws, is neither reverent nor sagacious. Miracles are 
to be accepted boldly or not at all. They are jewels, and 
sj)arkle with divine light, or they are nothing. 

This guide of the Magi was a light kindled in the heavens 
to instruct and lead those whose eyes Avere prepared to receive 
it. If the vision of angels and the extraordinary conception of 
the Virgin are received as miraculous, it ought not to be difficult 
to accept the star seen from the east as a miracle also. 

The situation of the child ill 
befitted Oriental notions of a 
king's dignit}^ But under the 
divine influence which rested 
upon the Magi, they doubtless 
saw more than the outward 
circumstances. Humble as the 
place was, poor as his parents 
evidently were, and he a mere 
babe, they fell down before him 
in worship, and presented prince- 
ly gifts, " gold, frankincense, and 
myrrh." Instead of returning to 
Herod, they went back to their 
own country. 

And now it was time for Jo- 
seph to look well to his safety. If there was to be a king in 
Israel, he was to come from the house of David, and Joseph 
was of that stock, and his child, Jesus, was royal too. Herod's 
jealousy was aroused. He was not a man wont to miss the ful- 
filment of any desire on account of humane or moral scruples. 




0-^ ^ 


The return of the Magi without giving him the knowledge 
which he sought seemed doubtless to the king like another step 
in a plot to subvert his throne. He determined to make thor- 
ough work of this nascent peril, "and sent forth and slew all 
the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts there- 
of, from two years old and under." He put the limit of age 
at a period which would make it sure that the new-born king 
of the Jews would be included. 

It has been objected to the probable truth of this statement, 
that such an event could hardly fail to be recorded by secular 
historians, and especially by Josephus, who narrates the contem- 
poraneous history with much minuteness. But this event is far 
more striking upon our imagination now, than it was likely to 
be upon the attention of men then. For, as Bethlehem was a 
mere hamlet, with but a handful of people, it has been computed 
that not more than ten or fifteen children could have perished 
by this merciless edict. Besides, what was such an act as this, 
in a life stored full of abominable cruelties ? " He who had im- 
molated a cherished wife, a brother, and three sons to his jealous 
suspicions, and who ordered a general massacre for the day of his 
funeral, so that his body should not be borne to the earth amidst 
general rejoicings," may easily be supposed to have filled up the 
spaces with minor cruelties which escaped record. But here is 
an historical record. It is no impeachment of its truth to aver 
that there is no other history of it. Until some disproof is 
alleged, it must stand. 

Stirred by a divine impulse, Joseph had already removed the 
child from danger. Whither should he flee? Egypt was not 
distant, and the roads thither were easy and much frequented. 
Thither too, from time to time, exiled for various reasons, had 
resorted numbers of Jews, so that, though in a foreign land, he 
would be among his own countrymen, all interested alike in 
hating the despotic cruelty of Herod. There is no record of the 
place of Joseph's sojourn in Egypt. Tradition, always uncer- 
tain, places it at Matarea, near Leontopolis, where subsequently 
the Jewish temple of Onias stood. 

His stay was probably brief For, within two or three weeks 
of the foregoing events, Herod died. Joseph did not return to 
Bethlehem, thoudi he desired to do so, but was warned of God 



in a dream of his danger. It was probable that Archelaus, who 
succeeded to Herod in Judaea, would be as suspicious of danger 
from an heir royal of the house of David as his father had been ; 
so Joseph passed — it may be by way of the sea-coast — north- 
ward, to Nazareth, whence a few months before he had removed. 



Before closing this chapter we shall revert to one of the most 
striking features of the period thus far passed over, namely, ihe 
ministration of angels. The Ijelief in the existence of heavenly 
beings who in some manner are concerned in the affairs of men, 
has existed from the earliest periods of Avhich we have a his- 
tory. This faith is peculiarly grateful to the human heart, and, 
though it has never been received with favor by men addicted 
to purely physical studies, it has been entertained by the Church 
with fond faith and by the common people with the enthusiasm 
of sympathy. 

It is scarcely possible to follow the line of development in 
the animal kingdom, and to witness the gradations on the as- 
cending scale, unfolding steadily, rank above rank, until man 
is reached, without having the presumption awakened that there 


n ■ 



are intelligences above man, — creatures which rise as much 
above him as he above the inferior animals. 

When the Avorcl of God announces the ministration of ano-els, 
records their early visits to this planet, represents them as bend- 
ing over the race in benevolent sympath}^, bearing warnings, 
consolations, and messages of wisdom, the heart receives the 
doctrine even against the cautions of a sceptical reason. 

Our faith might be put to shame if the scriptural angels bore 
any analogy to those of the rude and puerile histories contained 
in apocryphal books. But the long line of heavenly visitants 
shines in unsullied brightness as high above the beliefs and 
prejudices of an early age as the stars are above the vapors 
and dust of earth. While patriarchs, prophets, and apostles 
show all the deficiencies of their own period and are stained 
with human j^assions, the angelic beings, judged by the most 
fastidious requirements of these later ages, are without spot or 
blemish. They are not made up of human traits idealized. 
They are unworldly, — of a different type, of nobler presence, 
and of far grander and sweeter natures than any living on earth. 

The angels of the oldest records are like the angels of the 
latest. The Hebrew thought had moved through a vast arc of 
the infinite cycle of truth between the da^'s when Abraham 
came from Ur of ChaldfBa and the times of our Lord's staj^ on 
earth. But there is no development in angels of later over 
those of an earlier date. They were as beautiful, as spiritual, 
as pure and noble, at the beginning as at the close of the old 
dispensation. Can such creatures, transcending earthly experi- 
ence, and far outrunning anything in the life of man, be crea- 
tions of the rude ages of the human understanding ? 

We could not imagine the Advent stripped of its angelic lore. 
The dawn without a twilight, i\\Q sun without clouds of silver 
and gold, the morning on the fields without dew-diamonds, — 
but not the Saviour without his angels ! They shine within the 
Temple, they bear to the matchless mother a message which 
w^ould have been disgrace from mortal lips, but which from 
theirs fell upon her as pure as dew-drops upon the lilies of the 
plain of Esdraelon. They communed with the Saviour in his 
glory of transfiguration, sustained him in the anguish of the 
garden, watched at the tomb; and as they had thronged the 

^ ^ 


earth at his coming, so they seem to have hovered in the air 
in multitudes at the hour of his ascension. Beautiful as they 
seem, they are never mere poetic adornments. The occasions 
of their appearing are grand. The reasons are weighty. Their 
demeanor suggests and befits the highest conception of superior 
beings. These are the very elements that a rude age could not 
fashion. Could a sensuous age invent an order of beings, which, 
touching the earth from a heavenly height on its most momen- 
tous occasions, could still, after ages of culture had refined the 
human taste and moral appreciation, remain ineffably superior in 
delicacy, in pure spirituality, to the demands of criticism ? Their 
very coming and going is not with earthly movement. They 
suddenly are seen in the air as one sees white clouds round 
out from the blue sky, in a summer's day, that melt back even 
while one looks upon them. They vibrate between the visible 
and the invisil)le. The}^ come without motion. They go with- 
out flight. The}' dawn and disappear. Their words are few, 
but the Advent Chorus yet is sounding its music through the 

A part of the angelic ministration is to be looked for in what 
men are by it incited to do. It helps the mind to populate 
heaven with spiritual inhabitants. The imagination no longer 
translates thither the gross corporeity of this life. We susjDCct 
that few of us are aware how much our definite conceptions of 
spirit4ife are the product of the angel-lore of the Bible. 

It is to be noticed that only in Luke is the history of the 
angelic annunciation given. It is to Luke also that we are in- 
debted for the record of the angels at the tomb on the morn- 
ing of the resurrection. Luke has been called the Evangelist 
of Greece. He was Paul's companion of travel, and particularly 
among the Greek cities of Asia Minor. This suggests the fact 
that the angelic ministration commemorated in the New Testa- 
ment would greatly facilitate among Greeks the reception of 
monotheism. Comforting to us as is the doctrine of angels, it 
can hardly be of the same help as it was to a Greek or to a 
Roman when he first accepted the Christian faith. The rejec- 
tion of so many divinities must have left the fields, the moun- 
tains, the cities and temples very bare to all who had been 
accustomed to heathen m^'thology. The ancients seem to have 




striven to express imiversal divine presence by mnltiplying their 
gods. This cat least had the effect of giving hfe to every part 
of nature. The imaginative Greek had grown faniihar with the 
thought of gods innumerable. Every stream, each grove, the 
caves, the fields, the clouds, suggested some divine person. It 
would be almost impossible to strip such a one of those fertile 
suggestions and tie him to the simple doctrine of One God, 
without producing a sense of cheerlessness and solitude. Angels 
come in to make for him an easy transition from polytheism to 
monotheism. The air might still be populous, his imagination 
yet be full of teeming suggestions, but no longer with false 
gods. Now there was to him but one God, but He was served 
by multitudes of blessed spirits, children of light and glory. 
Instead of a realm of conflicting divinities there was a house- 
hold the Father looking in benignity upon his radiant family. 
Thus, again, to the Greek, as to the Patriarch, angels ascended 
and des°cended the steps that lead from earth to heaven. 


c&- -a 



BEFORE we enter upon the childhood of Jesus, and, with 
still more reason, before we enter upon his adult life, it is 
necessary to form some idea of his original nature. No one 
conversant with the ideas on this point which fill the Christian 
world can avoid taking sides with one or another of the philo- 
sophical views which have divided the Church. Even mere 
readers, who seem to themselves uncommitted to any doctrine 
of the nature of Christ, are unconsciously in sympathy with 
some theory. But to draw up a history of Christ without some 
pilot-idea is impossible. Every fact in the narrative will take its 
color and form from the philosophy around which it is grouped. 
Was Jesus, then, one of those gifted men who have from time 
to time arisen in the world, differing from their fellows only in 
pre-eminence of earthly power, in a fortunate temperament, and 
a happy balance of faculties ? Was he simply and only an 
extraordinary Man ? This view was early taken, and as soon 
vehemently combated. But it has never ceased to be held. It 
reappears in every age. And it has sjDecial hold upon thought- 
ful minds to-day ; at least, upon such thoughtful minds as are 
imbued with the present spirit of material science. The physi- 
cal laws of nature, we are told, are invariable and constant, and 
all true knoAvledge is the product of the observation of such 
laws. This view will exclude, not only miracles, the divine in- 
spiration of holy men of old, and the divinity of Jesus Christ ; 
but, if honestly followed to its proper consequences, it will 
destroy the grounds on which stand the belief of the immor- 
tality of the soul and of the existence of angels and spirits ; 
and, finally and fatally, it will deny the validity of all evidences 
of the existence and government of God. And we accordingly 
find that, on the European continent and in England^ the men 

[0 ~^& 


of some recent schools of science, without denying the exist- 
ence of an intelligent, personal God, deny that there is, or can 
be, any human hiotvledge of the fact. The nature of the human 
mind, and the laws under which all knowledge is gained, it is 
taught, prevent our knowing with certainty anything beyond 
the reach of the senses and of personal consciousness, God is 
the Unknown, and the life beyond this the Unknowable. There 
are many inclining to this position who Avoidd be shocked at the 
results to which it logically leads. But it is difficult to see how 
one can reject miracles, as philosoj^hically impossijjle, except 
upon grounds of materialistic science which lead iiTesistibly to 
veiled or overt atheism. 

The Lives of Christ which have been written from the purely 
humanitarian view have not been without their benefits. They 
have brought the historical elements of his life into clearer 
light, have called back the mind from speculative and imagina- 
tive efforts in spiritual directions, and Iiave given to a dim and 
distant idea the clearness and reality of a fact. Like some old 
picture of the masters, the Gospels, exposed to the dust and 
smoke of superstition, to revarnishing glosses and retouching 
philosophies, in the sight of many had lost their original bright- 
ness and beauty. The rationalistic school has done much to 
remove these false surfaces, and to bring back to the eye the 
original picture as it was laid upon the canvas. 

But, this work ended, every step beyond has been mis- 
chievous. The genius of the Gospels has been crucified to a 
theory of Christ's humanity. The canons of historical criticism 
have been adopted or laid aside as the exigencies of the special 
theory required. The most lawless fancy has been called in to 
correct the alleged flincifulness of the evangelists. Not only 
has the picture been " restored," but the pigments have been 
taken off, reground, and laid on again by modern hands. A 
new head, a different countenance, appears. They found a God : 
they have left a feeble man ! 

Dissatisfied with the barrenness of this school, which leaves 
nothing upon which devotion may fasten, another class of think- 
ers have represented Jesus as more than human, but as less 
than divine. What that being is to whose kind Jesits belongs, 
they cannot tell. Theirs is a theory of compromise. It adopts 

^ ^ 


the obscure as a means of hiding definite difficulties. It admits 
the grandeur of Christ's nature, and the sublimity of his life 
and teachings. It exalts him above angels, but not to the level 
of the Throne. It leaves him in that wide and mysterious space 
that lies between the finite and the infinite. 

The theological difficulties which inhere in such a theory are 
many. It may enable reasoners to elude pursuit, but it will not 
give them any vantage-ground for a conflict with philosophical 
objections. And yet, as the pilot-idea of a Life of Christ, it is 
far less mischievous than the strictly humanitarian view ; it does 
less violence to recorded facts. But it cannot create an ideal 
on which the soul may feed. After the last touch is given to 
the canvas, we see only a Creature. The soul admires ; but it 
must go elsewhere to bestow its utmost love and reverence. 

A third view is held, which may be called the doctrine of the 
Church, at least since the fourth century. It attributes to Jesus 
a double nature, — a human soul and a divine soul in one body. 
It is not held that these two souls existed separately and in 
juxtaposition, — two separate tenants, as it were, of a common 
dwelling. Neither is it taug-lit that either soul absorbed the 
other, so that the divine lapsed into the human, or the human 
expanded into the divine. But it is held that, by the union 
of a human and a divine nature, the one person Jesus Christ 
became God-Man ; a being carrying in himself both natures, 
inseparably blended, and never again to be dissevered. This 
new theanthropic being, of blended divinity and humanity, will 
occasion no surprise in those who are familiar with modes of 
thought which belonged to the early theologians of the Church. 
It is only when, in our day, this doctrine is supposed to be 
found in the New Testament, that one is inclined to surprise. 

For, as in a hot campaign the nature of the lines of intrench- 
ment is determined by the assaults of the enemy, so this doc- 
trine took its shape, not from Scripture statements, but from 
the exigencies of controversy. It was thrown up to meet the 
assaults ujDon the true divinity of Christ; and, although cum- 
brous and involved, it saved Christianity. For, the truth of the 
proper divinity of Christ is the marrow of the sacred Scriptures. 
It is the only point at which natural and revealed religion can 
be reconciled. 

— _^ 



But if by another and better statement tbe divinity of Christ 
can be exhibited in equal eminence and with greater simplicity, 
and if such exhibition shall be found in more obvious accord 
with the language of the New Testament, and with what we 
now know of mental philosophy, it will be wise, in construct- 
ing a life of Christ, to leave the antiquated theory of the me- 
dia3val Church, and return to the simple and more philosophical 
views of the sacred Scriptures. 

We must bear in mind that many questions which have 
profoundly excited the curiosity of thinkers, and agitated the 
Church, had not even entered into the conceptions of men at 
the time when the writings of the New Testament were framed. 
They are mediaeval or modern. The Romish doctrine of the 
Virgin Mary could hardly have been understood even, by the 
apostles. The speculations which have absorbed the thoughts 
of men for ages are not only not found in the sacred record, 
but would have been incongruous^ with its wdiole spirit. The 
evangelists never reason upon any question ; they simply state 
what they saw or heard. They never deduce inferences and 
principles from facts. They frame their narrations without any 
apparent consciousness of the philosophical relations of the focts 
contained in them to each other or to any system. It is prob- 
able that the mystery of the Incarnation never entered their 
minds as it exists in ours. It was to them a moral fact, and 
not a philosophical problem. 

Ilofr Jesus was Son of God, and yet Son of Man, is nowhere 
spoken of in those simple records. The evangelists and the 
apostles content themselves with simply declaring that God 
came into the world in the form of a man. " The Word was 
God." " And the Word tvas made flesh, and dwelt among us." 
This is all the explanation given by the disciple who was most 
in sympathy with Jesus. Jesus was God ; and he was made 
flesh. The simplest rendering of these words would seem to 
be, that the Divine Spirit had enveloped himself with the 
human body, and in that condition been subject to the indis- 
pensable limitations of material laws. Paul's statement is almost 
a direct historical narrative of fticts. " Let this mind be in you 
which was also in Christ Jesus : who, being in the form of God, 
thought it not robbery to be equal with God ; but made himself 



[0 a 


of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and 
was made in. the tikeness of men; and being found in fashion as a 
man, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even 
the death of the cross." (Phil. ii. 5-8.) This is a simple state- 
ment that Jesus, a Divine Person, brought his nature into the 
human body, and Avas subject to all its laws and conditions. 
No one can extract from this the notion of two intermixed 
souls in one nature. 

The same form of statement appears in Romans viii. 3 : " For 
what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the 
flesh, God, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and 
for sin, condemned sin in the flesh." There is no hint here of 
joining a human soul to the divine. In not a single passage 
of the New Testament is such an idea even suggested. The 
language which is used on this subject is such as could not 
have been employed by one who had in his mind the notion of 
two souls in Gyoexistence. 

As it is unsafe to depart from the obvious teaching of the 
sacred Scriptures on a theme so far removed from all human 
knowledge, we shall not, in this Life of our Lord, render our- 
selves subject to the hopeless confusions of the theories of the 
schools, but shall cling to the simple and intelligible representa- 
tions of the Word. " Great is the mystery of godliness : God 
ivas manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, 
preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the Avorld, received 
up into glory." (1 Tim. iii. 16.) 

The Divine Spirit came into the world, in the person of Jesus, 
not bearing the attributes of Deity in their full disclosure and 
power. He came into the world to subject his spirit to that 
whole discipline and experience through which every man must 
pass. He veiled his ro^^alty ; he folded back, as it were, within 
himself those ineffable powers which belonged to him as a free 
spirit in heaven. He went into captivity to himself, wrapping 
in weakness and forgetfulness his divine energies, while he was 
a babe. " Being found in fashion as a man," he was subject to 
that gradual unfolding of his buried powers which belongs to 
infancy and childhood. "And the child greiv, and imxed strong 
in spirit." He was subject to the restrictions wdiich hold and 
hinder common men. He was to come back to himself little 

^a g] 




by little. Who shall .say that Gocl cannot put himself into finite 
conditions ? Though as a free spirit God cannot grow, yet as 
fettered in the flesh he may. Breaking out at times with 
amazing power, in single directions, yet at other times feeling 
the mist of humanity resting upon his eyes, he declares, '• Of 
that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels 
which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." This is 
just the experience which we should expect in a being whose 
problem of life was, not the disclosure of the full power aud 
o-lory of God's natural attributes, but the manifestation of the 
love of God, and of the extremities of self-renunciation to which 
the Divine heart would submit, in the rearing up from animal- 
ism and passion his family of children. The incessant looking 
for the signs of divine power and of infinite attributes, in the 
earthly life of Jesus, Avhose mission it was to bring the Divine 
Spirit within the conditions of feeljle humanity, is as if one 
should search a dethroned king, in exile, for his 'crown and his 
sceptre. We are not to look for a glorified, an enthroned 
Jesus, but for God manifest in the flesh; and in this view the 
very limitations and seeming discrepancies in a Divine life be- 
come congruous parts of the whole sublime problem. 

We are to remember that, whatever view of the mystery be 
taken, there will be difficulties which no ingenuity can solve. 
But we are to distinguish between difficulties which are inherent 
in the nature of the Infinite, and those which are but the imper- 
fections of our own philosophy. In the one case, the perplexity 
lies in the weakness of our reason ; in the other, in the weak- 
ness of our reasoning. The former will always be burdensome 
enough, without adding to it the pressure of that extraordinary 
theory of the Incarnation, which, without a single express Scrip- 
tural statement in its support, works out a compound divine 
nature, without analogue or parallel in human mental philosophy. 

Early theologians believed suffering to be inconsistent with 
the Divine perfection. Impassivity was essential to true divm- 
ity. With such ideas of the Divine nature, how could they 
believe that Jesus, a man of suffering, and acquainted with 
grief, was divine? A human soul was therefore conjoined to 
the divine, and to that human element were ascribed all the 
phenomena of weakness and suffering which they shrank from 


^- -^ 


imputing to the Deity. This disordered reverence was corrobo- 
nated by imperfect notions of what constitutes a true manhood. 
If God became a true man, they argued, he must have had a 
human soul. As if the Divine nature clothed in flesh did not 
constitute the most absolute manhood, and fill up the whole 
ideal ! 

Man's nature and God's nature do not differ in kind, but in 
degree of the same attributes. Love in God is love in man. 
Justice, mercy, benevolence, are not different in nature, but 
only in degree of power and excellence. "And God said. Let 
us make man in our image, after our likeness." . (Gen. i. 26.) 
" In him we live, and move, and have our being For- 
asmuch then as we are the offsprmg of God," etc. (Acts. xvii. 
28, 29.) 

This identification of the divine and the human nature was 
one of the grand results of the Incarnation. The beauty and 
preciousness of Christ's earthly life consist in its being a true 
divine life, a presentation to us, in forms that we can compre- 
hend, of the very thoughts, feelings, and actions of God when 
placed in our condition in this mortal life. To insert two na- 
tures is to dissolve the charm. 

Christ was very God. Yet, when clothed with a human body, 
and made subject through that body to physical laws, he Avas 
then a man, of the same moral faculties as man, of the same 
mental nature, subject to precisely the same trials and tempta- 
tions, only without the weakness of sin. A human soul is not 
something other and different from the Divine soul. It is as 
like it as the son is like his father. God is father, man is son. 
As God in our place becomes human, — such being the simi- 
larity of the essential natures, — so man in God becomes divine. 
Thus we learn not only to what our manhood is coming, but 
when the Divine Spirit takes our whole condition nipon himself, 
we see the thoughts, the feelings, and, if we may so say, the 
private and domestic inclinations of God. What he was on 
earth, in his sympathies, tastes, friendships, generous familiari- 
ties, gentle condescensions, we shall find him to be in heaven, 
only in a profusion and amplitude of disclosure far beyond the 
earthly hints and glimpses. 

The tears of Christ were born of the flesh, but the tender 




sympathy which showed itself by those precious tokens dwells 
imwasted and forever in the nature of God. The gentleness, 
the compassion, the patience, the loving habit, the truth and 
equity, which were displayed in the daily life of the Saviour, 
were not so many experiences of a human soul mated with the 
Divine, but were the proper expressions of the very Divine 
soul itself, that men might see, in God, a true and perfect 
manhood. When Jesus, standing before his disciples as a full 
man, was asked to reveal God the Father, he answered, "He 
that hath seen me hath seen the Father." Manhood is nearer 
to godhood than we have been wont to believe. 


a- — - — — -^ 



THE parents of Jesus returned to Nazareth, and there for 
many years they and their child were to dwell. 

There was nothing that we know of, to distinguish this child 
fi'oni any other that ever was born. It passed through the 
twilight of infancy as helpless and dependent as all other chil- 
dren must ever be. If we had dwelt at Nazareth and daily 
seen the child Jesus, we should have seen the cradle-life of 
other children. This was no prodigy. He did not speak won- 
derful wisdom in his infancy. He slept or waked upon his 
mother's bosom, as all children do. He unfolded, first the per- 
ceptive reason, afterwards the voluntary powers. He was nour- 
ished and he grew under the same laws which govern infant life 
now. This then was not a divinity coming through the clouds 
into human life, full-orbed, triumphing with the undiminished 
strength of a heavenly nature over those conditions which men 
must bear. If this was a divine person, it was a divine child, 
and childhood meant latent power, undevelojied faculty, unripe 
organs ; a being without habits, without character, without expe- 
rience ; a cluster of germs, a branch full of unblossomed buds, 
a mere seed of manhood. Except his mother's arms, there was 
no circle of light about his head, fondly as artists have loved 
to paint it. But for the after-record of Scriptures, we should 
have no reason to suppose that this child differed in any respect 
from ordinary children. Yet this was the Son of God ! This 
was that Word of whom John spake : " In the beginning was 
the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was 
God ! " 

It was natural that Joseph and Mary should desire to settle 
in Judasa. Not alone because here was the home of their 
father David, but especially because, when once they believed 



^- -a 


their son Jesus de>tined to fulfil the prophecies concerning the 
Messiah, \\\Qy would wish hiui to be educated near to Jerusalem. 
To them, doubtless, the Temple and its priesthood were yet the 
highest exponents of religion. 

Divine Providence, however, removed him as far from the 
Temple and its influences as possible. Half-heathen Galilee was 
better for his youth than Jerusalem. To Nazareth we must 
look for his early history. But what can be gleaned there, 
wlien for twelve years of childhood the only syllable of history 
uttered is, "And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, 
filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him " ? 

Not a single fact is recorded of his appearance, his infimtine 
ways; what his parents thought, Avliat his brothers and sisters 
thought of him; the impression made by him upon neighbors; 
whether he went to school ; how early, if at all, he put his hand 
to work ; whether he was lively and gay, or sad and thought- 
ful, or both by turns ; whether he was meditative and refined, 
standing apart from others, or robust, and addicted to sports 
among his young associates : no one knows, or can know, what- 
ever may be inferred or suspected. He emerges for a moment 
into history at twelve years of age, going with his parents to 
Jerusalem. That glimpse is the last wdiich is given us for the 
next sixteen or eighteen years. 

But regarding a life over which men have hung with an 
interest so absorbing, it is impossible to restrain the imagina- 
tion. There will always be a tilling up of the vacant sjDaces. 
If not done by the pen, it will none the less be done in some 
more fanciful way by free thoughts, which, incited l^oth by curi- 
osity and devotion, will hover over the probabilities when there 
is nothing better. Nor need this be mischievous. There are 
certain generic experiences which must have befallen Jesus, 
because they belong to all human life. He was a child. He 
was subject to parental authority. He lived among citizens and 
under the laws. He ate, drank, labored, was weary, refreshed 
himself by sleep. He mingled among men, transacted aftairs 
with them, and exchanged daily salutations; He was pleased 
or displeased; he was glad often and often sorrowful. He was 
subject to the oscillations of mood which belong to finely organ- 
ized persons. There must have been manifestations of filial love 





In looking upon men he was subject to emotions of grief, pity, 
and indignation, or of sympathy and approval. He was a child 
jjefore he was a man. He had those nameless graces which 
l^elong to all ingenuous boys; and though he must have seemed 
precocious, at least to his own household, there is no evidence 
that he was thought remarkable by his fellow-citizens. On the 
other hand, none were less prejDared to see him take a promi- 
nent part in public affairs than the very people who had known 
him from infancy. "Whence hath this man this wisdom, and 
these mighty works ? Is not this the carjoenter's son ? Is not 
his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, 
and Simon, and Judas? and his sisters, are they not all with 
us ? " — this is not the language of admiring neighbors, who had 
thought the boy a prodigy and had always predicted that he 
would become remarkable ! This incident throws back a light 
upon his childhood. If he went through the ordinary evolutions 
of youth it is certain that the universal experiences of that 
period must have befallen him. Nothing could be more unnat- 
ural than to suppose that he was a child without a childhood, a 
full and perfect being cleft from the Almighty, as Minerva was 
fabled to have come from the head of Jupiter; who, though a 
Jew, in Nazareth, probably following a carpenter's trade, was 
yet but a celestial image, a white and slender figure floating 
in a half spiritual transfiguration through the days of a glorified 
childhood. He was "the Son of Man," — a real boy, as after- 
wards he was a most manly man. He knew every step of 
growth; he underwent the babe's experience of knowing noth- 
ing, the child's, of knowing a little, the universal necessity of 
development ! 

But there is a question of education, which has been much 
considered. Was the development of his nature the result of 
internal forces ? Or was he, as other men are wont to be, power- 
fully affected by external circumstances ? Was his imagination 
touched and enriched by the exquisite scenery about him? Did 
the historic associations of all this Galilean region around him 
develop a temper of patriotism ? Was his moral nature educated 
by the repulsion of ignoble men, — by the necessity of toil, — 
by the synagogue, — by his mother at home, — and by his hours 
of solitary meditation, and of holy communion with God ? 


— ^ -a 


That Jesus was sensitive to every influence which would shape 
an honorable nature, is not to be doubted. But whether there 
was more than mere recipiency, may well be questioned. Cir- 
cumstances may have been the occasions, but not the causes, 
of development to a divine mind, obscured in a human body, and 
learning to regain its power and splendor by the steps which in 
common men are called growth. 

We shall make a brief discussion of the point a means of 
setting before the mind the physical features of Galilee, and the 
local influences which prevailed there during our Lord's life. 

If it was desirable to bring \x^ the child Jesus as far as pos- 
sible from the Temple influence, in Palestine and yet not under 
excessive Jewish influence, no place could have been chosen 
better than Nazareth. It was a small village, obscure, and re- 
mote from Jerusalem. Its very name had never occurred in the 
Old Testament records. And though, after the fall of Jerusa- 
lem, Galilee was made the seat of Jewish schools of religion, — 
Sepharis, but a few miles north of Nazareth, being the head- 
quarters, — yet, at our Lord's birth, and during Lis whole life, 
this region of Palestine was but little affected by Jerusalem. 
The population was a mixed one, made up of many different 
nationalities. A debased remnant of the ten tribes, after their 
captivity, had wandered back, with Jewish blood and heathen 
manners. The Roman armies and Roman rulers had jjrought 
into the province a great many foreigners. A large Gentile 
population had divided with native Jews the towns and vil- 
lages. Greeks swarmed in the larger commercial towns. Gal- 
ilee was, far more than Judaea, cosmopolitan. Commerce and 
manufactures had thriven by the side of agriculture. Josephus 
says that Galilee had more than two hundred cities and vil- 
lao-es, the smallest of which contained not less than fifteen 
thousand inhabitants. This seems an extravagant statement, 
but it will serve to convey an idea of the great populousness 
of the province in which the youth of Jesus was spent and in 
which also his public life was chiefly passed. The influences 
which had changed the people had provincialized their language. 
A Galilean was known by his speech, which seems to have been 
regarded as unrefined and vulgar.^ 

1 Mark xiv. 70 ; Acts ii. 7, 

du -^ 

a- -a 


Among such a. people was the Lord reared. If, as is prob- 
able, he followed his father's business and worked among the 
common people, we may perceive that his education, remote 
from the Temple, not only saved him from the influence of the 
dead and corrupt schools of Jerusalem, but brought him into 
sympathetic relations with the most lowly in life. In all his 
after ministry, apart from his divine insight, he could of his own 
experience understand the feelings, tastes, and needs of his audi- 
ences. " The common people heard him gladly." He had 
sprung from among them. He had been reared in their j)ur- 
suits and habits. For thirty years he was a man among men, 
a laboring man among laboring men. It is in this contact with 
human life on all its sides, — with the pure Jew, with the 
degenerate Jew, witli the Greek, the Phoenician, the Roman, 
the Syrian, — that we are to look for the most fruitful results 
of the Lord's youth and manhood in Nazareth and the sur- 
rounding region. In this rich and populous province the civil- 
ized world was epitomized. Jesus had never travelled as did 
ancient j^hilosophers ; JDut he had probably come in contact more 
largely with various human nature by staying at home, than 
they had by going abroad. 

The village of Nazareth had a bad reputation. This is shown 
in the surprised question of Nathanael, who, being a resident of 
Cana, in its immediate neighborhood, undoubtedly reflected the 
popular estimate, '' Can any good thing come out of Nazareth ? " 
This question incidentally shows, also, that our Lord's childhood 
had not been one of portents and marvels, and had not ex- 
hibited any such singular characteristics as to create in the 
region about him such a reputation as easily grows up among 
ignorant people around any peculiarity in childhood. Some- 
thing of the spirit which had given Nazareth such bad repute 
shows itself on the occasion of our Lord's first preaching there, 
when, as the application of his discourse was closer than they 
liked, the people offered him personal violence, showing them 
to be unrestrained, passionate, and bloodthirsty. 

The town, or as it then was, the village, of Nazareth was an 
exquisite gem in a noble setting. All writers grow enthusiastic 
in the description of its beauty, — a beauty which continues to 
this day. Stanley, in part quoting Richardson, says : " Fifteen 

\Si '.iiiliiiiiii 

fl- —ft 


gently rounded hills seem as if they had met to form an en- 
closure for this peaceful basin. They rise round it like the 
edge of a shell, to guard it from intrusion. It is a rich and 
beautiful field in the midst of these green hills, aljounding in gay 
flowers, in fig-trees, small gardens, hedges of the prickly pear; 
and the dense rice-grass affords an abundant pasture."^ 

The town was built not upon the sunmiit, but upon the sides, 
of a high hill. The basin runs from northeast to southwest, 
and it is from its western slope that the village of Nazareth 
looks forth. 

It must needs be that, in his boyhood wanderings, Jesus often 
ascended to the top of the hill, to look over the wide scene which 
opened before the eye. It often ha23pens that the finest pano- 
ramas in mountain countries are not those seen from the highest 
points. The peculiar conformations of the land frequently give 
to comparatively low positions a view both wider and nobler 
than is obtained from a fourfold height. The hill of Nazareth 
yielded a view not equalled in Palestine, — surpassing that seen 
from the top of Tabor. The village itself, built on the side of 
one of the hills which form the mile-long basin, was four hun- 
dred feet below the summit, and w\"is so much shut in by sur- 
rounding heights that it had but little outlook. But from the 
hill-top behind the village one looked forth upon almost the 
whole of Galilee, — from Lebanon, and from Hermon, always 
white with snow, in the far north and northeast, down to the 
lake of Gennesareth, with Hattin, Tabor, Little Hermon, Gilboa, 
on the east and southeast ; the hills of Samaria on the south ; 
Carmel and the Mediterranean Sea on the southwest and west. 
Two miles south of the villao-e of Nazai'eth stretched clear across 
the breadth of Galilee the noblest plain of Palestine, — Esdrae- 
lon (which name is but a modification of the old word Jezreel), 
a meadow-like plain with an undulating surface, or, as it would 
be called in our Western phrase, a rolling prairie, three or four 
miles wide at its widest, and about fifteen in length. 

These names recall some of the most romantic and critical 
events of the old Jewish history. The places were identified 
with the patriarchs, the judges, the prophets, and the kings of 
Israel. Across the great plain of Jezreel the tide of battle has 

' Sinai and Palestine^ p. 357. 

^ -~& 



not ceased to flow, age after age ; the Midianite, the Amalekite, 
the Syrian, the PhiHstme, each in turn rushed through this open 
oate among the hills, alternately conquering and conquered. 
Its modern history has made good its ancient experience. It 
has been the battle-field of ages; and the threat of war so 
continually hangs over it, that, while it is the richest and most 
fruitful part of Palestine, there is not to-day an inhabited city 
or village in its whole extent. 

The beauty of all this region in the spring and early sum- 
mer gives rise to endless praise from travellers. It may be 
doubted whether this scene does not owe much to local contrast, 
and whether, if it were transported to England or to America, 
where moisture is perpetual, and a kinder sun stimulates but 
seldom scorches, it would maintain its reputation. But in one 
respect, probably, it excels all foreign contrasts, and that is, in 
the variety, succession, and brilliancy of its flowers. The fields 
fairly glow with colors, which change every month, and only 
in Auf^ust disappear from the plain; and even then, retreating 
to the cool ravines and edges of the mountains, they bloom on. 
The region swarms with singing-birds of every plumage, besides 
countless flocks of birds for game.-^ 

The whole of Galilee is to every modern traveller made pro- 
foundly interesting by the life of Christ, which was so largely 
spent in it. But no thoughtful mind can help asking, What 
did it do to him? 

Of this the Gospels are silent. No record is made of his 
youthful tastes, or of his manhood pursuits. We are unwilling 
to believe that he never ascended the hill to look out over the 
noble panorama, and still less are we willing to beheve that he 

1 Professor J. L. Porter, in Kitto's Biblical Encijchpcedia (Art. " Galilee") says : " Lower 
Galilee was a land of husbandmen, famed for its corn-fields, as Upper Galilee was for its 
olive-groves and Judaea for its vineyards. The rich soil remains, and there are still some 
fruitful fields ; but its inhabitants are few in number, and its choicest plains are desolated 
by the wild Bedouin. Galilee was and is also remarkable for the variety and beauty of its 
wild flowers. In early spring the whole country is spangled with them, and the air is 
filled Avith their odors. Birds, too, are exceedingly numerous. The rocky banks are 
all alive with partridges ; the meadows SAvarm with quails and larks ; ' the voice of the 
turtle ' resounds through every grove ; and pigeons are heard cooing high up in the cliffs 
and glen-sidos, and are seen in flocks hovering over the corn-fields. The writer has trav- 
elled through Galilee at various seasons, and has always been struck with some new 
beauty, the delicate verdure of spring, and its blush of flowers, the mellow tints of autumn, 
and the russet hues of the oak-forests in winter, have all their charms." 



^ a 


beheld all that was there without sensibilit}', or even with only 
an ordinary human sensitiveness to nature. We cannot doubt 
that he beheld the scenes with a grander impulse than man ever 
knew. He was in his own world. '-All things were made by 
him ; and Avithout him was not anj'thing made that was made." 
But whether this knowledge existed during his childhood, or 
whether he came to the full recognition of his prior relations 
to the world gradually and only in the later years of his life, 
may be surmised, but cannot be known. 

It is certain that the general statements which have recently 
been made, respecting the influence of Nazareth and its sur- 
roundings upon the unfolding of his genius, are without either 
positive historic evidence or any internal evidence to be found 
in his discourses, conversations, and parables. 

The slightest study of our Lord's discourses will show that 
he made almost no use of nature, as such, in his thoughts and 
teachings. He had in his hands the writings of the old proph- 
ets of his nation, and he was familiar with their contents. In 
them he beheld all the aspects of nature, whatever was suljlime, 
and whatever was beautiful, employed to enforce the lessons of 
morality with a power and poetic beauty which had then no 
parallel, and which have since had no rival. But there would 
seem to have been in his own use of language a striking avoid- 
ance of the style of the prophets. In the employment of nat- 
ural objects, no contrast can be imagined greater than that 
between the records of the Evangelists and the pages of Isaiah, 
Jeremiah, Habakkuk, and the Psalmists. Our Lord never drew 
illustrations from original and wild nature, but from nature after 
it had felt the hand of man. Human occupations furnish the 
staple of his parables and illustrations. It Avas the city set 
upon a hill that our Lord selected, not the high hill itself, or a 
mountain; vines and fig-trees, but not the cedars of Lebanon, 
nor the oaks. The plough, the yoke, the seed-sowing, the liar- 
vestrfield, flocks of sheep, bargains, coins, magistrates, courts of 
justice, domestic scenes, — these are the preferred images in 
our Saviour's discourses. And yet he had been brought up in 
sight of the Mediterranean Sea ; for thirty years, at a few steps 
from his home, he might have looked on Mount Hermon, lifted 
up in solitude above the reach of summer; the history of his 

. ^ 

#- ■ a 


people was identified with Tabor, with Mount Gilboa, with Ebal 
and Gerizim, — but he made no use of them. The very changes 
which war had wrought upon the face of the country, — the 
destruction of forests, the drying up of springs of water, the 
breaking down of terraces, the waste of soil, and the destruction 
of vineyards, — were striking analogies of the effects of the pas- 
sions upon human nature. Yet no allusion is made to these 
things. There are in the Gospel narratives no waves, clouds, 
storms, lions, eagles, mountains, forests, plains.^ 

The lilies and the sparrows and the reed shaken by the wind 
are the only purely natural objects which he uses. For water 
and light (with the one exception of lightning) are employed in 
their relations of utility. The illustration of the setting sun 
(Matt. xvi. 2) is but the quotation of a common proverb. The 
Jordan was the one great historic stream : it is not alluded to. 
The cities that were once on the plain, Sodom and Gomorrah, 

^ When Moses -would show God's tender care of Israel, it was the eagle that repre- 
sented God. " As an eagle stiiTCth xx^ her nest, fluttercth OA-er her young, spreadetli 
abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings ; so the Lord alone did lead 
him." (Deut. xxii. 11, 12.) 

The profound care of our Lord was represented by him in the figure of a bird, but 
taken from husbandry. " How often would I have gathered thy children together, even 
as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not ! " 

The same contrast exists in the employment of illustrations drawn fi'om the floral king- 
dom. Had Kuskin been writing, instead of Solomon, he could not have shown a rarer in- 
timacy with flowers than is exhibited in Solomon's Songs. " I am the rose of Sharon, 
and the lily of the valleys. As the lily among thorns, so is my love among daughters. 
As the apple-tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons." " My 
beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For 
lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone ; the flowers appear on the earth ; the time 
of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle [dove] is heard in our land. 
The fig-tree putteth forth her gi-een figs, and the vines Avith the tender grape give a 
goodly smell." In this joyous sympathy with nature, the Song flows on like a brook 

fringed with meadow-flowers. " A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse Thy 

plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits ; camphire, with spikenard. 
Spikenard and saffron ; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense ; myrrh, 
and aloes, with all the chief spices : a fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and 
streams from Lebanon. Awake, O north wind ; and come, thou south, blow upon my 
garden, that the spices thereof may flow out." 

The single instance, in the Gospels, of an allusion to flowers is remarkably enough in 
reference to this very Solomon whose words we have just quoted. " Consider the lilies 
of the field, how they grow ; they toil not, neither do they spin ; and yet I say unto you, 
that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." 

The affluence and splendor of illustrations, in the Old Testament, drawn fi-om the poetic 
side of nature, and in contrast with the lower tone and the domesticity of New Testament 
figures, will be apparent upon the slightest comparison. 



are held up in solemn warning ; but that most impressive moral 
symbol, the Dead Sea itself, Christ did not mention. We must 
not allow our thoughts to suppose that the Lord's soul did not 
see or feel that natural beauty which he had himself created 
and which he had through ages reproduced with each year. The 
reasons why his teaching should be unadorned and simple are 
not hard to find. The literary styles Avliich are most univer- 
sally attractive, and which are least subject to the capricious 
change of popular taste, are those which are rich in material, 
but transparently simple in form. Much as men admire the 
grandeur of the prophets, they dwell on the words of Christ 
with a more natural companionship and far more enduring sat- 

Although it is not expressly said that Christ followed his 
flither's trade, yet Mark represents the disaffected people of 
Nazareth, on the occasion of an unpopular sermon, as saying 
of Jesus, "Is not this the carpenter?" (Mark vi. 3.) 

We should not give to the term "carpenter" the close tech- 
nical meaning which it has in our day. All trades, as society 
grows in civihzation, become special, each single department 
making itself into a trade. Carving, cabinet-making, joinery, 
carpentry, wooden-tool making, domestic-ware manufacturing, 
tinkering, are each a sub-trade by itself But in our Lord's 
day, as it is yet in Palestine, they were all included in one 
business. The carpenter was a universal worker in wood. He 
Imilt houses or fences, he made agricultural implements or tools, 
such as spades, yokes, ploughs, etc., or houseware, chairs, tables, 
tubs, etc. Carving is a favorite part of the wood-worker's busi- 
ness in the East to-day, and probably was so in ancient times. 
Justin Martyr says that Jesus made yokes and ploughs, and he 
spiritualizes them as symbols of obedience and activity. Even 
had Christ been brought up to wealth as he was to poverty, 
there would be no reason why he should not have learned a 
mechanical trade. In this, as in so many other respects, the 
Jewish people were in prudence greatly in advance of the then 
civilized world. It was not only deemed not disgracefid to learn 
some manual trade, but a parent was not thought to have done 
well by his child's education who had not taught him how to 
earn a living by his hands. But in Joseph's case, httle other 




education, it is probable, had he the means of giving his son. 
John records the surprise of the schoUirs of the Temple upon 
occasion . of one of Christ's discourses : " The Jews marvelled, 
saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?" 
The term " letters " was used, as it still is, to signify literature, 
and in this case religious literature, as the Jews had no other. 
There is no evidence in the Lord's discourse that the occupa- 
tions of his youth had any special influence upon his thoughts 
or imagcinatiou. He made no allusion to tools, he drew no illus- 
trations from the processes of construction, he said nothing which 
would suggest that he had wrought with hammer or saw. 

More attractive to the heart are the probable influences of 
home. It will always make home more sacred to men, that 
the Lord Jesus was reared by a mother, in the ordinary life of 
the household. For children, too, there is a Saviour, who was in 
all things made like unto them. 


Sacred history makes everything of Mary, and nothing of 
Joseph. It is taken for granted that it was with his mother 
that Jesus held most intimate communion. The adoration of the 
Virgin hy the Romish Church has doubtless contributed largely 
to this belief There is nothing improbable in it. But it is pure 
supposition. There is not a trace of any facts to support it. 
Though an ordinary child to others, that Jesus was to his par- 
ents a child of wonder can scarcely be doubted. Such mani- 
festations of his nature as broke forth at twelve years of age 
in the Temple scene must have shown themselves at other times 
in various ways at home. Yet so entirely are our minds ab- 


f ^ -^ 


sorbecl in his later teachings, and so wholly is his life summed 
lip to US in the three years of his ministry, that we are not 
accustomed to recall and fdl out his youth as we do his riper 
years. Who imagines the boy Jesus going or coming at com- 
mand, — leaving home, with his tools, for his daily work, — lift- 
ing timber, laying the line, scribing the pattern, fitting and fin- 
ishing the job, — bargaining for work, demanding and receiving 
his w\ages, — conversing with fellow-workmen, and mingling in 
their innocent amusements? Yet must not all these things have 
been ? We 'must carry along with us that interpreting sentence, 
which like a refrain should come in with every strain : '' In all 
things it behooved him to be made hke unto his brethren." 

(Heb. ii. 17.) 

In the synagogue and at home he would become famiUar with 
the Scriptures of the Old Testament. This itself was no insig- 
nificant education. The institutes of Moses were rich in polite 
ical wisdom. They have not yet expended their force. The 
commonwealth established in the Desert has long ceased, but its 
seeds have been sown in other continents; and the spirit of 
democracy which to-day is gaining ascendency in every land 
has owed more to the Mosaic than to any other political insti- 

The Saviour's discourses show that his mind was peculiarly 
adapted to read the Book of Proverbs Avith keen relish. Under 
his eye the practical wisdom of those curt sentences, the m- 
sight into men's motives which they give, those shrewd lessons 
of experience, must have had a larger interpretation than they 
were wont to receive. If one has observed how the frigid 
annals of history, when Shakespeare read them, blossomed out 
into wonderful dramas, he can partly imagine what Solomons 
philosophy must have become under the eye of Jesus. 

He lived in the very sight of places made memorable by the 
deeds of his country's greatest men. If he sat, on still Sabbaths, 
upon the hill-top,— childlike, alternately watching and musing,— 
he must at times have seen the shadowy forms and heard the 
awful tones of those extraordinary men, the Hebrew prophets. 
There was before him Gilboa, on which Samuel's shadow came 
to Saul and overthrew him. Across these plains and over the.e 
solitary mountains, Elijah, that grandest and most dramatic of 

, -ff 


the old prophets, had often come, and disappeared as soon, 
]jearing the Lord's messages, as the summer storm bears the 
hghtning. He could see the very spots where Elisha, prophet 
of the gentle heart, had wrought kind miracles. 

The sword of David had flashed over these plains. But it is 
David's harp that has conquered the world, and his psalms must 
have been the channels through which the soul of Jesus often 
found its way back to his Heavenly Father. Not even in his 
youth are we to suppose that Jesus received unquestioning the 
writings of the holy men of his nation. He had come to inspire 
a loftier morality than belonged to the twilight of the past. 
How early he came to himself, and felt within him the motions 
of his Godhood, none can tell. At twelve he overrode the in- 
terpretations of the doctors, and, as one having authority, sat 
in judgment upon the imperfect religion of his ancestors. This 
first visit to Jerusalem stands up in his childhood as Mount 
Tabor rises from the plain, — the one solitary point of definite 

At twelve, the Jewish children were reckoned in the congre- 
gation and made their appearance at the great annual feasts. 
Roads were unknown. Along paths, on foot, — the feeble carried 
upon mules, — the people made their way by easy stages toward 
the beloved city. At each step new-comers fell into the ever- 
swelling stream. Relatives met one another, friends renewed 
acquaintance, and strangers soon lost strangeness in hospitable 
company. Had it been an Anglo-Saxon pilgrimage, all Palestine 
would scarcely have held the baggage-train of a race that, instead 
of making a home everywhere, seek everywhere to carry their 
home with them. The abstemious habits of the Orientals re- 
quired but a slender stock of provisions and no cumbering bag- 
gage. They sang their sacred songs at morning and evening, 
and on the way. Thus one might hear the last notes of one 
chant dying in the valley as the first note of another rose upon 
the hill, and song answered to song, and echoed all along the 
pleasant way. 

We can imagine group after group coming at evening into 
the valley of Samaria, — guarded by Gerizim and Ebal, — begin- 
ning to feel the presence of those mountain forms which con- 
tinue all the way to Jerusalem, and chanting these words : — 

^ ^ 

— ^-T^ 


" I will lift up mine oyos unto the hills, 
From whence cometh my help. 
j\Iv help cometh from the Lord, 
Which made heaven and earth. 
He Avill not suffer thy foot to be moved : 
He that keepeth thee will not slumber. 
Behold, he that keepeth Israel 
Shall neither slumber nor sleep. 
The Lord is thy keeper; 
The Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. 
Tlie sun shall not smite thee by day, 
Nor the moon by night. 
The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil : 
He shall preserve thy soul. 
The Lord shall preserve thy going out, 
And thy coming in, 
From this time forth, 
And even forevermore." 

Refreshed by sleep, breaking up their simple camp, the min- 
o-led throng at early morning start forth again. A voice is heard 
chanting a"psalm. It is caught up by others. The whole region 
resounds. And these are the words : — 

" I was glad when the}- said unto me, 
Let us go into the house of the Lord. 
Our feet shall stand 
Within thy gates, O Jerusalem ! 
Jerusalem is builded 
As a city that is compact together : 
Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, 
Unto the testimony of Israel, 
To give thanks unto the name of the Lord. 
For there are set thrones of judgment, 
The thrones of the house of David. 
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem : 
They shall prosper that love thee. 
Peace be within thy walls, 
And prosperity within thy palaces. 
For my brethren and companions' sakes 
I will now say. Peace be within thee, 
Because of the house of the Lord our God 
I will seek thy good." 

The festival over, the mighty city and all its environs sent 
back the worshippers to their homes. It had l)een a religious 
festival, but not the less an unconstrained social picnic. How 
freely they mingled with each other, group with group, is shown 
in the fact that Joseph and Mary had gone a day's journey on 


the road home l)efore they missed their child. This coidd not 
have been, were it not customary for the parties often to break 
up and mingle in new combinations. "But they, supposing him 
to have been in the company, went a day's journey." It is phiin, 
then, that at twelve years of age Jesus had outgrown the con- 
stant watch of his parents' eyes, and had assumed a degree of 
manly liberty. 

They turned back. It was three days before they found him. 
One day was required by the backward journey. Two days they 
must have wandered in and about the city, anxiously enough. 
In the last place in which they dreamed of looking, they foimd 
him, — " in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both 
hearing them, and asking them questions." Christ's questions 
were always like spears that pierced the joints of the harness. 
It seems that even so early he had begun to Avield this weapon. 

What part of these three days Jesus had spent at the Temple, 
we are not told. But we may be sure that it was a refreshing 
time in that dull circle of doctors. An ingenuous youth, frank, 
and not hackneyed by the conventional ways of the world, with 
a living soul and a quick genius, is always a fascinating object, 
and perhaps even more to men who have grown stiff in formal 
ways than to others. There is something of youthful feeling 
and of fatherhood yet left in souls that for fifty years have 
discussed the microscopic atoms of an imaginary philosophy. 
Besides, where there are five doctors of philosophy there are not 
less than five opposing schools, and in this case each learned 
man must needs have enjoyed the palpable hits which his com- 
jDanions received from the stripling. The people who stood 
about would have a heart for the child: what crowd would 
not ? And, if he held his own against the doctors of law, all 
the more the wonder grew. It is not necessary to suppose 
that a spiritual chord viJDrated at his touch in the hearts of all 
this circle of experts in Temple dialectics. Yet we would fondly 
imagine that one at least there was — some unnamed Nicodemus, 
or another Joseph of Arimathea — who felt the fire burn within 
him as this child spake. Even in Sahara there are found green 
spots, shaded with palms, watered and fruitful. There might 
have been sweet-hearted men amono; the Jewish doctors ! 

Upon this strange school, in which the pupil was the teacher 

^ ^ — S 



a l.Mi,IClUlC. 

and the teachers were puzzled scholars, came at length, her 
serene face now flushed with alarm, the mother of Jesus. She, 
all mother, with love's reproach said, " Son, why hast thou thus 
dealt with us?" and he, all inspired with fast-coming thoughts, 
answered, "Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's 
business ? " 

Not yet! This ministry of youth was not wholesome. Pre- 
mature prodigies have never done God's work on earth. It 
would have pleased the appetite for wonder, had his childhood 
continued to emit such flashes as came forth in the Temple. 
But such is not the order of nature, and the Son of God had 
consented to be "made under the law." It is plain, from his 
reply to his mother, that he was conscious of the nature that 
was in him, and that strong impulses" urged him to disclose his 
power. It is therefore very significant, and not the least of the 
signs of divinity, that he ruled his spirit, and dwelt at home in 
unmurmuring expectation. "He went down with them, and 
came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them." (Luke ii. 51.) 
This might well be said to be to his childhood what the tempta- 

■ Ql 

[fl-^ ^ 


tions in the wilderness were to his ministry. The modesty, 
the fihal piety, the perfectness of self-control, contentment in 
mechanical labor, conscious sovereignty undisclosed, a wealth of 
nature kept back, — in short, the holding of his whole being in 
tranquil silence, waiting for growth to produce his ripe self, and 
for God, his Father, to shake out the seed which was to become 
the l^read of the world, — all this is in itself a wonder of divinity, 
if men were only wise enough to marvel. Christ's greatest 
miracles were wrought within himself 

In a review of the childhood of Jesus, there are several points 
which deserve special attention. 

1. While it is true that, by incarnation, the Son of God be- 
came subject to all human conditions, and, among them, to the 
law of gradual development, by which "he increased in wisdom 
and stature," — for "the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit," 
— we must not fall into the error of supposing that Jesus was 
moulded by the circumstances in which he was placed. Not his 
mother, nor the scenery, nor the national associations, nor the 
occupations of his thirty years, fashioned him. Only natures 
of a lower kind are shaped by circumstances. Great natures 
unfold by the force of that which is within them. When food 
nourishes, it receives the power to do so by that which the vital 
power of the body gives it. Food does not give life, but by 
assimilation receives it. Christ was not the creation of his age. 
We may trace occasions and external influences of which he 
availed himself, but his original nature contained in its germ 
all that he was to be, and needed only a normal unfolding. 

The absolute independence from all external formative influ- 
ence, and the sovereignty of the essential self, Avas never so sub- 
limely asserted as when Jehovah declared, "I am that I am." 
But, without extravagance or innnodesty, the mother of Jesus 
might have written this divine legend upon his cradle. 

2. We have said nothing of the brothers and sisters of our 
Lord. They are not only mentioned, but the names of his 
brothers are given, and allusions are made to them in several 
instances.^ Yet the matter does not prove upon examination to 
be as simple as at first sight it seems. 

* Matt, xii. 46 ; xiii. 55. Mark iii. 31 ; vi, 3. Luke viii. 19. John ii. 12 ; vii. 3. Acts i. 14. 

^ ^ ^ 

^ -^ 


Undoubtedly, it suited the peculiar ideas which were early 
developed in the Church, to consider Jesus not only the first- 
born, but the only, child of Marj^ But there are real and in- 
trinsic difficulties in the case. The term brethren was often 
used in the general sense of relative. To this day authorities 
of the highest repute are divided in opinion, and in about 
equal proportions on each side. There are several suppositions 
concerning these brothers and sisters : They were the children 
of Joseph by a former marriage ; or, they were adopted from 
a deceased brother's family; or, they were the children of a 
sister of the mother of Jesus, and so cousins-o;erman to him ; 
or, they were the children of Joseph and Mary, and so the 
real brothers of Jesus. We shall not enter upon the argu- 
ment.^ The chief point of interest is not in doubt: namely, 
that our Lord was not brought up alone in a household as an 
only child ; that he was a child among children ; that he was 
surrounded by those who were to him, either really his own 
brothers and sisters, or just the same in sentiment. He had 
this ordinary experience of childhood. The unconscious babe in 
the cradle has a Saviour who once was as sweetly helpless as 
it is. The prattling child is passing along that path over which 
the infant footprints of Jesus were marked. The later friend- 
ships of brothers and sisters derive a sacred influence from 
the love which Jesus bore to his sisters while growing up with 
them. There is thus an example for the household, and a gos- 
pel for the nursery, in the life of Jesus, as well as an " ensample " 
in his manhood for the riper years of men. 

3. While we do not mean to raise and discuss, in this work, 
the many difficulties which are peculiar to critics, there is one 
connected with this period of our Lord's life which we sludl 
mention, for the sake of laying down certain principles which 
should guide us in reading the Sacred Scriptures. 

Matthew declares that ^' he came and dwelt in a city called 
Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the 
prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene." No such line has 
ever been found in the prophets. 

Lifinite ingenuity of learning has been brought to bear upon 

* Those who desire to investigate the matter may see Andrews's A-erv clear and judicial 
estimate of the case (^Life of our Lord, p. 104) ; also, Laiige, Life of Christ, Vol. I. p. 421. 



this difficulty, without in the shghtest degree solving it. It is 
said that the term "Nazareth" is derived from nctscr, a sprout^ 
as the region around Nazareth is covered with bushes ; and by 
coupling this with Isaiah xi. 1, where the Messiah is predicted 
under the name of a Branch, the connection is established. 
That Matthew, the most literal and unimaginative of all the 
Evangelists, should have betaken himself to such a subtle trick 
of language, would not surprise us had he lived in England in 
Shakespeare's time. But as he WTote to Jews avIio did not 
believe that Christ was the Messiah, we should, by adopting this 
play on words, only change the verbal difficulty into a psycho- 
loarical one still more vexatious. 

Others have supposed that Matthew referred to some apoc- 
ryphal book, or to some prophecy now lost. This is worse than 
ino-enious. It is perverse. The Old Testament canon was, and 
had long been, complete when Matthew wrote. What evidence 
is there that anything had ever been dropped from it, — or 
that any apocryphal book had ever existed, containing this sen- 
tence ? Is our faith in the inspired record helped or hindered 
by the introduction of such groundless fancies? The difficulty 
of the text is not half so dangerous as is such a liberty taken in 
explaining it. Others of this ingenious band of scholars derive 
the name Nazarene from notser, that wdiich guards. Others 
think that it is from ndrjcr, to separate, as if the Messiah were 
to be a Nazar//^, which he was not ; nor was it anywhere in the 
Old Testament predicted that he should be. Lange supposes 
that, already when Matthew wrote, Nazarene had become a term 
of such universal reproach, as to be equivalent to the general 
representations of the prophets that the Messiah should be de- 
spised and rejected, and that it might even be interchangeable 
with them. The whole ground of this explanation is an assump- 
tion. That Nazarene was a term of reproach, is very likely, but 
that it had become a generic epithet for hmnihation, rejection, 
scorn, persecution, and all maltreatment, is nowhere evident, 
and not at all probable. 

But what would happen if it should be said that Matthew 
recorded the current impression of his time in attributing this 
declaration to the Old Testament prophets? Would a mere 
error of reference invalidate the trustworthiness of the Evan- 





gelist? We lean our whole weight upon men who are fallible. 
Must a record be totally mfiillible before it can be trusted at 
all ? Navigators trust ship, cargo, and the lives of all on board, 
to calculations based on tables of logarithms, knowing that there 
was never a set computed, without machinery, that had not 
some errors in it. The supposition, that to admit that there are 
immaterial and incidental mistakes in the Sacred Writ would 
break the confidence of men in it, is contradicted by the uni- 
form experience of life, and by the whole procedure of society. 

On the contrary, the shifts and ingenuities to which critics are 
obliged to resort either blunts the sense of truth, or disgusts 
men watli the special pleading of critics, and tends powerfully to 
general unbelief. 

The theory of Inspiration must be founded upon the claims 
which the Scriptures themselves make. "All Scripture is given 
by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, 
for correction, for instruction in righteousness ; that the man of 
God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." 
(2 Tim. iii. 16, 17.) 

Under this declaration, no more can be claimed for the doc- 
trine of Inspiration than that there shall have been such an 
influence exerted upon the formation of the record that it shall 
l)e the truth respecting God, and no falsity ; that it shall so ex- 
pound the duty of man under God's moral government, as to 
secure, in all wdio will, a true holiness ; that it shall contain no 
errors which can affect the essential truths taught, or which shall 
cloud the reason or sully the moral sense. 

But it is not right or prudent to infer, from the Biblical 
statement of inspiration, that it makes provision for the very 
words and sentences; that it shall raise the inspired penmen 
above the possibility of literary inaccuracy, or minor and im- 
material mistakes. It is enough if the Bible be a sure and suffi- 
cient guide to spiritual morality and to rational piety. To erect 
for it a claim to absolute literary infallibility, or to infallibility 
in things not directly pertaining to fiiith, is to weaken its real 
authority, and to turn it aside from its avowed purpose. The 
theory of verbal inspiration brings a strain upon the Word of 
God which it cannot bear. If rigorously pressed, it tends power- 
fully to bigotry on the one side and to infidelity on the other. 



The inspiration of holy men is to be construed as we do the 
doctrine of an overriding and special Providence ; of the divine 
supervision and guidance of the Cliurch ; of the faithfulness of 
God in answering prayer. The truth of these doctrines is not 
inconsistent with the existence of a thousand evils, mischiefs, 
and mistakes, and with the occurrence of wanderings long and 
almost fatal. Yet, the general supervision of a Divine Provi- 
dence is rational. We might expect that there would be an 
analogy between God's care and education of the race, and His 
care of the Bible in its formation. 

Around the central certainty of saving truth are wrapped 
the swaddling-clothes of human language. Neither the condition 
of the human understanding, nor the nature of human speech, 
which is the vehicle of thought, admits of more than a frag- 
mentary and partial presentation of truth. "For we know in 
part, and we prophesy in part.'' (1 Cor. xiii. 9.) Still less are 
we then to expect that there will be perfection in this vehicle. 
And incidental errors, which do not reach the substance of truth 
and duty, which touch only contingent and external elements, 
are not to be regarded as inconsistent with the fixct that the 
Scriptures were inspired of God. Nor will our reverence for the 
Scriptures be impaired if, in such cases, it be frankly said. Here 
is an insoluble difficulty. Such a course is far less dangerous 
to the moral sense than that pernicious ingenuity which, assum- 
ing that there can be no literal errors in Scripture, resorts to 
subtle arts of criticism, improbabilities of statement, and violence 
of construction, such as, if made use of in the intercourse of 
men in daily life, would break up society and destroy all faith 
of man in man. 

We dwell at length upon this topic now, that we may not 
be obliged to recur to it Avhen, as will be the case, other in- 
stances arise in which there is no solution of unimportant, though 
real, literary difficulties. 

There are a multitude of minute and, on the Avhole, as respects 
the substance of truth, not important questions and topics, which, 
like a fastened door, refuse to be opened by any key which learn- 
ing has brought to them. It is better to let them stand closed 
than, like impatient mastiffs, after long barking in vain, to lie 
whining at the door, unable to enter and unwilling to go away. 

^ -^ 




THE long silence is ended. The seclusion is over, with all 
its wondrous inward experience, of which no record has 
been made, and which must therefore be left to a reverent 
imagination. Jesus has now reached the age which custom has 
established among his people for the entrance of a priest upon 
his public duty. 

But, first, another voice is to be heard. Before the ministry 
of Love begins, there is to be one more great prophet of the 
Law, who, with stern and severe fidelity, shall stir the conscience, 
and, as it were, open the furrows in which the seeds of the new 
fife are to be sown. 

Every nation has its men of genius. The direction which 
their genius takes will be determined largely by the peculiar 
education which arises from the position and history of the na- 
tion ; but it will also depend upon the innate tendencies of the 


The original tribal organizations of Israel were moulded by 
the laws and institutions of Moses into a commonwealth of pe- 
culiar characteristics. Each tribe scrupulously preserved its 
autonomy, and in its own province had a local independence; 
while the whole were grouped and confederated around the 
Tabernacle, and afterwards about its outgrowth, the Temple. 
On the one side, the nation approximated to a democracy ; on 
the other, to a monarchy. But the throne, independent of the 
people, was not independent of an aristocracy. The priestly 
class combined in itself, as in Egypt, the civil and sacerdotal 
functions. The Hebrew government was a theocratic democracy. 
A fierce and turbulent people had great power over the govern- 
ment. The ruling class was, as in Egypt it had been, the 
priestly class. The laws which regulated personal rights, prop- 


erty, industry, marriage, revenue, military affairs, and religious 
worship were all ecclesiastical, — were interpreted and adminis- 
tered by the hierarchy. The doctrine of a future existence had 
no place in the Mosaic economy, either as a dogma or as a moral 
influence. The sphere of religion was wholly within the secu- 
lar horizon. There was no distinction, as with us, of things civil 
and things moral. All moral duties were civil, and all civil 
were moral duties. Priest and magistrate were one. Patriotism 
and piety were identical. The military organization of the Jews 
was Levitical. The priest wore the sword, took part in planning 
campaigns, and led the people in battle.^ The Levitical body was 
a kind of national university. Literature, learning, and the fine 
arts, in so far as they had existence, were preserved, nourished, • 
and diffused by the priestly order. 

Under such circumstances, genius must needs be religious. 
It must develop itself in analogy with the history and institu- 
tions of the people. The Hebrew man of genius was the prophet. 
The strict priest was narrow and barren; the prophet was a 
son of liberty, a child of inspiration. All other men touched 
the ground. He only had wings; he was orator, poet, singer, 
civilian, statesman. Of no close profession, he performed the 
functions of all, as by turns, in the great personal freedom of 
his career, he needed their elements. 

That temperament which now underlies genius was also the 
root of the projDhetic nature. In ordinary men, the mind- 
system is organized with only that degree of sensibility which 
enables . it to act under the stimulus of external influences. 
The ideal perfect man is one who, in addition, has such fine- 
ness and sensibility as to originate conceptions from interior 
cerebral stimulus. He acts without waiting for external solici- 
tation. The particular mode of this automatic action varies with 
different persons. With all, however, it has this in common, 
that the mind does not creep step by step toward knowledge, 
gaining it by little and little. It is rather as if knowledge came 
upon the soul by a sudden flash ; or as if the mind itself had 
an illuminating power, by which suddenly and instantly it poured 
forth light upon external things. This was early called inspira- 

' For some instructive and interesting remarks on tins topic, see A. P. Stanley, Jewish 
Church, § 2, p. 448. 



tion, as if the gods had breathed into the soul something of their 
omniscience. It is still called inspiration. 

If the intellect alone has this power of exaltation and creative- 
ness, we shall behold genius in literature or science. But if 
there be added an eminent moral sense and comprehensive 
moral sentiments, we shall have, in peaceful times, men who 
will carry ideas of right, of justice, of mercy, far beyond tlie 
bounds at which they found them, — moral teachers, judges, and 
creative moralists ; and in times of storm, reformers and martyrs. 

This constitution of genius is not something abnormal. Com- 
plete development of all the body and all the mind, with a 
susceptibility to automatic activity, is ripe and proper manhood. 
To this the whole race is perhaps approximating, and, in the 
perfect day, will attain. 

But in a race rising slowly out of animal condition, in posses- 
sion of unripe faculties, left almost to chance for education, 
there sometimes come these higher natures, men of genius, who 
are not to be deemed creatures of another nature, lifted al)ove 
their fellows for their own advantage and enjoyment. They 
are only elder brethren of the race. They are appointed lead- 
ers, going before their child-brethren, to inspire them with higher 
ideas of life, and to show them the way. By their nature and 
position they are forerunners, seers, and foreseers. 

Such men, among the old Jews, became prophets. But a 
prophet was more than one who foretold events. He forefelt 
and foretaught high moral truths. He had escaped the thrall of 
passion in which other men lived, and, without help inherited 
from old civilizations, hy the force of the Divine Spirit acting 
upon a nature of genius in moral directions, he went ahead of 
his nation and of his age, denouncing evil, revealing justice, 
enjoining social purity, and inspiring a noble piety. A prophet 
was born to his office. Whoever found in himself the uprising 
soul, the sensibility to divine truth, the impulse to proclann it, 
might, if he pleased, be a prophet, in the peculiar sense of 
declaring the truth and enforcing moral ideas. The call of God, 
in all ages, has come to natures already prepared for the office 
to which they were called. Here was a call in birth-structure. 
This was well understood by the prophets. Jeremiah explicitly 
declares that he was created to the prophetic office : ''The word 

rb , ^ ^ 


of the Lord came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in 
the belly I knew thee ; and before thou camest forth out of the 
womb I -sanctffied thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto 
the nations." (Jer. i. 4, 5.) When God calls men, he calls 
thoroughly and begins early. 

The prophets, although wielding great influence, seem not 
to have been inducted into office by any ecclesiastical authority. 
There was no j^rovision, at least in early times, for their con- 
tinuance and succession in the community. There was no regu- 
lar succession. Occasionally they shot up from the peojDle, by 
the imj)ulse of their own natures, divinely moved. They were 
confined to no grade or class. They might be priests or com- 
moners ; they might come of any tribe. In two instances eminent 
prophets were women ; and one of them, Huldah, was of such 
repute that to her, though Jeremiah was then alive and in full 
authority. King Josiah sent for advice in impending public dan- 
ger. (2 Kings xxii. 14-20.) 

It was from the free spirit of the j)rophet in the old Jewish 
nation, and not from the priesthood, that religious ideas grew, 
and enlarged interpretations of religion proceeded. The priest 
indeed had a very limited sphere. The nature of the Temple 
service required him to be but little conversant with the living 
souls of men, and as little with ideas. In preparing the sacri- 
fices of oxen, of sheep, of birds, the Temple or Tabernacle could 
have appeared to the modern eye but little less rej)ulsive than 
a huge ahattoir. The priests, with axe and knife, slaughtering 
herds of animals, needed to be, and certainly in the early days 
were, men of nerve and muscle, rather than men of rich emo- 
tion or of strong religious feeling.^ The subordinate priests 
had as little occasion for moral feeling, in the performance of 
their ordinary duties, as laborers in the shambles. The higher 
officers were neither teachers nor preachers. In scarcely a 

^ Wlien Solomon brought up the ark and the sacred vessel to the new Temple, it is 
said that he sacrificed sheep and oxen " that could not be told nor numbered for multi- 
tude," and, at the close of the dedicatory services, " Solomon offered a sacrifice of peace- 
offerings, Avhich he offered unto the Lord, two and twenty thousand oxen, and an hundred 
and twenty thousand sheep. So the king and all the children of Israel dedicated the 
house of the Lord." (1 Kings viii. 5, 63.) This must have been the climax. Such 
gigantic slaughters could not have been common. But the regular sacrifices involved the 
necessity of killing vast numbers of animals. 




single point, from the high-priest downward, do the members 
of the Jewish hierarchy resemble the Christian minister. It is 
true that the Levites Avere appointed to instruct the people in 
the Law ; but this instruction consisted merely in an occasional 
public reading of the Levitical Scriptures. Until after the cap- 
tivity, and down to a comparatively late period in Jewish history, 
this function was irregularly perfoimed, and Avith but little 
effect. If there had been no other source of moral influence 
than the priesthood, the people might almost as well have been 
left to themselves. 

The prophetic impulse had been felt long before the Levitical 
institutes were framed. Now and then, at wide intervals, men 
of genius had arisen, who carried forward the moral sentiment 
of their age. They enlarged the bounds of truth, and deepened 
in the consciences of men moral and religious obligations. It is 
only through the imagination that rude natures can be spiritually 
influenced. These men were often great moral dramatists. They 
kejjt themselves aloof Some of them dwelt in soUtary places, 
and came upon the people at unexpected moments. The proph- 
ets W'Cre intensely patriotic. They were the defenders of the 
common people against oppressive rulers, and they stirred them 
up to throw off foreign rule. Wild and weird as they often 
were, awful in their severity, carrjdng justice at times to the 
most bloody and terrific sacrifices, they were notwithstanding 
essentially humane, sympathetic, and good. The old prophets 
were the men in w^hom, in a desolate age, and in almost savage 
conditions of society, the gentler graces of the soul took refuge. 
We must not be deceived by their rugged exterior, nor by the 
battle which they made for the right. Humanity has its severi- 
ties ; and even love, striving for the crown, must fight. Like all 
men who reform a corrupt age, the rude violence of the prophets 
was exerted against the animal that is in man, for the sake of 
his spiritual nature. 

Had there been but the influence of the Temple or of the 
Tabernacle to repress and limit the outflow of those passions 
w^hich make themselves channels in every society of men, they 
would have swept like a flood, and destroyed the foundations 
of civil Hfe. It was the prophet who kept alive the moral sense 
of the people. He taught no subtilties. It was too early, and 

^ ^ 


this was not the nation, for such philosophy as sprung up in 
Greece. The prophet seized those great moral truths which 
inhere in the very soul of man, and which natural and revealed 
religion hold in common. Their own feelings were roused by 
mysterious contact with the forces of the invisible world. They 
confronted alike the court and the nation with audacious fidelity. 
Often themselves of the sacerdotal order, and exercising the 
sacrificial functions of the priest (as in the instance of Samuel), 
yet when, in later times, true spirituality had been overlaid and 
destroyed by ritualism, they turned against the priest, the ritual, 
and the Temple. They trod under foot the artificial sanctity 
of religious usages, and vindicated the authority of morality, 
humanity, and simple personal piety against the superstitions 
and the exactions of religious institutions and their officials. 

Jeremiah speaks so slightingly of sacrifices as to seem to deny 
their divine origin. He represents God as saying : '' For I spake 
not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that 
I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt- 
offerings or sacrifices. But this thing commanded I them, saying. 
Obey my voice, and I will be 3^our God, and ye shall be my 
people." (Jer. vii. 22, 23.) 

Isaiah is even bolder : " To what purpose is the multitude 
of your sacrifices unto me ? . . . . Your new moons and your 

appointed feasts my soul hateth Your hands are full of 

blood. Wash you, make you clean Seek judgment, re- 
lieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow." 
(Isa. i. 11-17.) 

Amos, in impetuous wrath, cries out : " I hate, 1 despise your 
feast-days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. 
.... Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs. .... 
But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as 
a mighty stream." (Amos v. 21 - 24.) 

Considering the honor in which he was held, and the influence 
allowed him, the old prophet was the freest-speaking man on 
record. Not the king, nor his counsellors, nor priests, nor the 
people, nor prophets themselves, had any terror for him. When 
the solemn influence coming from the great invisible world set 
in upon his soul, his whole nature moved to it, as the tides 
move to celestial power. 

^ "& 



But the prophet did not hve always, nor even often, in these 
subhme elevations of feeling. The popular notion that, wrapt 
in moods of grandeur, he was always looking into the future, 
and drawing forth secrets from its mysterious depths, — a Aveird 
fisher upon the shores of the infinite, — is the very reverse of 
truth. Revelatory inspirations were occasional and rare. They 
seldom came except in some imminent . catastrophe of the na- 
tion, or upon some high-handed aggression of idolatry or of 
regal immorality. The prophet hihored with his hands, or was 
a teacher. At certain periods, it would seem as if in his care 
were placed the music, the poetry, the oratory, and even the 
jurisprudence of the nation. The phrase "to prophes}^" at first 
signified an uncontrollable utterance nnder an overruling posses- 
sion, or inspiration. It was an irresistible rhapsody, frequently 
so like that of the insane, that in early times, and among some 
nations even yet, the insane Avere looked upon with some awe, 
as persons overcharged with the prophetic spirit. But in time 
the term assumed the meaning of moral discourse, vehement 
preaching ; and finally it included simple moral teaching. In 
the later periods of Jewish history, the term " to prophesy " was 
understood in much the same sense as our phrases '"' to instruct," 
'' to indoctrinate." Paul says, " He that prophesieth speaketh 
unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort." (1 Cor. 
xiv. 3.) The criticisms and commands of the Apostle resjDCcting 
prophecy show clearly that in his day it was in the nature of 
sudden, impulsive, impassioned discourse, — that it was, in short, 
sacred oratory. 

The aljsolute spontaneity of the old prophet, in contrast with 
the perfunctory priest, is admirable. Out of a ritual service 
rigid as a rock is seen gushing a libertj'- of ittterance that re- 
minds one of the rock in the wilderness when smitten "\\ith the 
prophet's rod.* Although the prophets were the religious men, far 
more revered for sanctity than the priests, it was not because 
they held aloof from secular affairs. They were often men of 
rigor, but never ascetics. They never despised common human- 
ity, either in its moral or in its secular relations. 

The prophet was sometimes the chief justice of the nation, as 
Samuel ; or a councillor at court, as Nathan ; or a retired states- 
man, consulted by the rulers, as Elisha; or an iron refomier, 




as Elijah ; or the censor and theologian, as Isaiah, who, like Dante, 
clothed j^hilosophy with the garb of poetry, that it might have 
power to search and to purify society. But whatever else he 
was, the prophet was the great exemplar of personal freedom. 
He represented absolute personal liberty in religious thought. 
He often opposed the government, but in flivor of the state ; 
he inveighed against the church, but on behalf of religion ; he 
denounced the people, but always for their own highest good. 

It must be through some such avenue of thought that one 
approaches the last great prophet of the Jewish nation. The 
morning star of a new era, John is speedily lost in the blaze 
of Him who was and is the " Light of the Avorld." His history 
seems short. The child of prophecy, — the youth secluded in 
the solitudes, — the voice in the wilderness, — the crowds on 
the Jordan, — the grasp of persecution, — the death in prison, — 
this is the outline of his story. But in the filling up, what 
substance of manhood must have been there, what genuine power, 
what moral richness in thought and feeling, what chivalric mag- 
nanimity, to have drawn from Jesus the eulogy, "Among those 
that are born of w^omen there is not a greater prophet than John 
the Baptist " ! But his was one of those lives which are lost to 
themselves that they may spring up in others. He came both 
in grandeur and in beauty, like a summer storm, which, fjdling 
in rain, is lost in the soil, and reappears neither as vapor nor 
cloud, but transfused into flowers and fruits. 

One particular prophet w^as singled out hy our Lord as John's 
prototype, and that one by far the most dramatic of all the 
venerable brotherhood. '" If ye will receive it, this is Elias, 
which was for to come" (Matt. xi. 14), — Elijah, called in the 
Septuagint version Elias. Malachi, whose w^ords close the canon 
of the Jewish Scriptures, had declared, "Behold, I will send 
you Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and 
dreadful day of the Lord." There w^as, therefore, a universal 
expectation among the Jews that the Messiah should be pre- 
ceded by Elijah.^ It was an expectation not confined to the 

' Stanley says of this prophet: — "He stood alone against Jezebel. He stands alone 
in many senses among the prophets. Nursed in the bosom of Israel, the prophetical 
portion, if one may so say, of the chosen people, vindicating the true religion from the 
nearest danger of overthrow, setting at defiance by invisible power the whole forces of 

^ ^ 


Jews, but shared by the outlymg tribes and nations around 
Palestine. There is no real interior resemblance between John 
and Elijah. Their times were not alike. There are not else- 
where in recorded history such dramatic elements as in the 
career of Elijah. Irregular, almost fitful, Elijah the Tishljitc 
seemed at times clean gone forever, dried up like a summer's 
brook. Then suddenly, like that stream after a storm on the 
hills, he came down with a flood. His sudden appearances and 
as sudden vanishings wxre perfectly natural to one who had been 
reared, as he had been, among a nomadic people, not unlike the 
Bedouin Arabs. But to us they seem more like the mystery 
of spiritual apparitions. When the whole kingdom and the 
regions round about were searched for him in vain b}' the in- 
quisitorial Jezebel, then, without warning, he appeared before the 
court, overawed its power, and carried away the people by an 
irresistible fascination. Almost alone, and mourning over his 
sohtariness, he buffeted the idolatrous government for long and 
weary years of discouragement. His end w\as as wonderful as 
his career. Caught up in a mighty tempest, he disappeared 
from the earth, to be seen no more, until, in the exquisite 
vision of the Transfiguration, his heavenly spu*it blossomed into 
light, and hung above the glowing Saviour and the terrified 

" This is Elias, which was for to come." John from his child- 
hood had been reared in the rugged region west of the Dead 
Sea, southeast from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. (Luke i. 80.) 

the Israelite kingdom, he reached a height equal to that of Moses and Sanmel in the tra- 
ditions of his country. 

" He was the prophet for whose return in later years his countrymen have looked with 
most eager hope. The last prophet of the old dispensation clung to this consolation 
in the decline of the state. 

" In the gospel history we find this expectation constantly excited in each successive 
appearance of a new prophet. It was a fixed belief of the Jews that he had appeared 
af-ain and again, as an Arabian merchant, to wise and good rabbis at their ])rayers or 
on their journeys. A seat is still placed for him to superintend the circumcision of the 
Jewish children. 

"Passover after Passover, the Jews of our own day place the paschal cup on the 
table and set the door wide open, believing that this is the moment when Elij.-ih will 

" When goods are found and no owner comes, when difficulties arise and no solution 
appears, the answer is, 'Put them by till Elijah comes.'"— Stanley, History of the Jewish 
Church, Part II. p. 290. 



His raiment was a cloth of camel's hair, probably a long robe 
fastened round the waist with a leathern girdle. Whether he 
lived more as a hermit or as a shepherd, we cannot tell. It 
is probable that he was each by turns. In a manner which is 
peculiarly congenial to the Oriental imagination, he fed his 
moral nature in solitude, and by meditation gained that educa- 
tion which with Western races comes by the activities of a 
benevolent life. 

He probably surpassed his great prototype in native power 
and in the importance of his special mission, but fell below him 
in duration of action and dramatic effect. Elijah and John were 
alike unconventional, each having a strong, though rude individ- 
ualism. Living in the wilderness, fed by the thoughts and imagi- 
nations which great natures find in solitude, their characters 
had woven into them not one of those soft and silvery threads 
which fly back and forth incessantly from the shuttle of civilized 
life. They began their ministry without entanglements. They 
had no yoke to break, no harness to cast off, no customs to re- 
nounce. They came to society, not from it. 

Each of them, single-handed, attacked the bad morals of soci- 
ety and the selfish conduct of men. Though of a priestly family, 
John did not represent the Temple or its schools. He came 
in the name of no Jewish sect or party. He was simply "the 
voice of One crying in the wilderness." 

John was Christ's forerunner, as the ploughman goes before 
the sower. Before good work can be expected, there must be 
excitement. The turf-bound surface of communities must be 
torn up, the compacted soil turned to the air and light. Upon 
the rough furrows, and not on the shorn lawn, is there hope for 
the seed. 

This great work of arousing the nation befitted John. His 
spirit was of the Law. He had, doubtless, like his ancient 
brethren of the prophet brood, his mysterious struggles with 
the infinite and the unknown. He had felt the sovereignty 
of conscience. Kight and wrong rose before his imagination, 
amidst the amenities of an indulgent life, like Ebal and Gerizim 
above the vale of Samaria. In his very prime, and full of im- 
petuous manhood, he came forth from the wilderness, and began 
his career by the most direct and unsparing appeals to the moral 

^ S 




sense of the people. There was no sensuous mysticism, no suh- 
tile philosophy, no poetic enchantment, no tide of pleasurable 
emotion. He assailed human conduct in downright earnest. He 
struck right home at the unsheltered sins of guilty men, as the 
axe-man strikes. Indeed, the axe should be the sign and sym- 
bol of John.^ There are moods in men that invite such moral 
ao-gression as his. When a large and magnetic nature appears, 
with power to grasp men, the moral feeling becomes electric 
and contagious. Whole connnunities are fired. They rise up 
against their sins and self-indulgent habits, they lead them forth 
to slaughter, as the minions of Baal were led by Elijah at Mount 
Carmel. Not the grandest commotions of nature, not the com- 
ing on of spring, nor the sound of summer storms, is more sub- 
lime than are these moral whirls, to which, especially in their 
grander but less useful forms, rude men, in morally neglected 
communities, are powerfully addicted. 

^i^M- ^^^'^r ■' ..--. jv^ r^ •^■^'^-- '• 


The wilderness of Judaea, where John began his preaching, 
reaches on its northern flank to the river Jordan. From this 
point he seems to have made brief circuits in the vicinity of the 

» " And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees : therefore every tree 
which bringeth not forth good fruit is hcwu down, and cast into the fire." (Matt, 
iii. 10.) 

cQ- ^ ^ 


river valley. " He came into all the country about Jordan." 
(Luke iii. 3.) But, as his fame spread, he was saved the labor 
of travel. "There went out unto him all the land of Judsea" 
(Mark i. 5), — city, town, and country. The population of this 
region was very dense. It was largely a Jewish population, 
and therefore mercurial in feeling, but tenacious of pin^pose ; 
easily aroused, but hard to change ; not wdlling to alter its 
course, but glad to be kindled and accelerated in any direction 
already begun. An Oriental nation is peculiarly accessible to 
excitement, and the Jews above all Orientals were open to its 
influence. Fanaticism lay dormant in every heart. Every Jew 
w^as like a grain of powder, harmless and small until touched 
by the spark, and then instantly swelling with irresistible and 
immeasurable force. Just at this time, too, the very air of 
Judsea was full of feverish expectation. Its people Avere sick of 
foreign rule. Their pride was wounded, but not weakened, 
or even humbled. 

The Jews were the children of the prophets. That one Voice 
crying in the wilderness touched the deep religious romance of 
every patriotic heart. It was like the olden time. So had the 
great prophets done. Even one of less greatness than John 
would have had a tumultuous reception. But John was jDro- 
foundly in earnest. It was his good fortune to have no restraints 
or commitments. He had no philosophy to shape or balance, 
no sect whose tenets he must respect, no reputation to guard, 
and no deluding vanity of an influence to be either won or kept. 
He listened to the voice of God in his own soul, and spake 
right on. When such a one speaks, the hearts of men are 
targets, his w^ords are arrows, and multitudes Avill fall down 

And yet no one in the full blessedness of Christian expe- 
rience can look upon the preaching of John without sadness. It 
was secular, not spiritual. There was no future, no great spirit- 
land, no heaven above his world. The Jewish hills were his 
horizon. It is true that he saw above these hills a hazy light ; 
but what that light would reveal he knew not. How should 
he ? To him it seemed that the Messiah would be only another 
John, but grander, more thorough, and wholly irresistible. " But 
he that cometh after me is mightier than I." What would 

±i— ^ ^ 



this mightier than John be ? Wh«at would he do ? Only this : 
" He shall bajDtize you with the Holy Ghost and wdth fire : 
whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, 
and will gather the wheat into his garner ; but the chaff he 
will burn with fire unquenchable." 

All this was true ; l^ut that does not describe the Christ. 
John saw him as one sees a tree in winter, — the bare branches, 
without leaves, flowers, or fruit. What would he have thought, 
if he had heard the first sermon of Jesus at Nazareth, — "He 
hath sent me to heal the l)roken-liearted, to preach deliverance 
to the captives, and recovering of sight to the l)lind, to set at 
liberty them that are bruised " ? No wonder Jesus said of 
him that the least in the kingdom of heaven should be greater 
than he ! John Avould have said, Purity and then divine favor ; 
Christ, Divine favor that ye may become pure. 

This great Soul of the Wilderness was sent to do a prepara- 
tory Avork, and to introduce the truie Teacher. Though he 
represented the Law, that Law had not in his hands, as it had 
in the handling of the priests, lost all compassion. There is a 
bold discrimination in the Baptist's conduct toward the igno- 
rant common people and the enlightened Pharisee. " What shall 
we do I''' is the question of a heart sincerely in earnest; and 
this question l)rought John to each man's side like a brother. 

Knowing that to repent of particular sins w\as an education 
toward a hatred of the principle of evil, — sins being the drops 
which flow from the fountain of sin, — he obliged the tax- 
gatherer to repent of a tax-gatherer's sins, — extortion and 
avarice. The soldier must abandon his peculiar sins, — violence, 
rapine, greed of booty, revengeful accusations against all Avho 
resisted his predatory habits. Selfish men, living together, prey 
on one another by the endless ways of petty selfishness. John 
struck at the root of this universal self-indulgence when he 
commanded the common people, " He that hath two coats, let 
him impart to him that hath none ; and he that hath meat, let 
him do likewise." It is probable that he had seen right before 
him hungry and shivering men by the side of the over full and 
luxuriously clothed. 

There were others in the crowd besides publicans and sinners. 
There were saints there, — at least the Pharisees thought so. 


[B^- ^ 


They looked upon others with sympathy, and were glad that 
the common people repented. Although they themselves needed 
no amendment, it yet could do no harm to be baptized, and 
their pious example might encourage those who needed it ! 
This John was doing good. They were disjDOsed to patronize 
him ! 

If this was the S23irit which John perceived, no wonder 
he flashed out upon them with such lightning strokes. '^ 
generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the 
wrath to come ? Bring forth fruits meet for repentance." These 
dazzling words did not altogether offend, for the Pharisees were 
sure that John did not quite understand that they were the 
choicest and most modern instances of what the old saints 
had been ! Looking around on the sun-])l cached gravel and 
mossless stones, John replied to their thoughts : " Think not to 
say within yourselves. We have Abraham to our father; for 
I say unto you, that God is al^le of these stones to raise up 
children unto Al)raham." 

The preaching of John is plain. But what was the meaning 
of his baptism ? Was it into the Jewish church that he bap- 
tized ? But the people w^ere already members of that church. 
It was a national church, and men were born into it without 
any further trouble. Was it an initiation into a new sect ? 
John did not organize a sect or a party. He explicitly de- 
clared his office to be transitory, his function to prepare men 
for the great Coming Man. Was it Christian baptism ? Christ 
was not yet declared. The formula was not Christian. 

If that inevitable husk, an outward organization, had not 
become so fixed in men's minds, John's own explanation would 
suffice. It is clear and explicit : " I baptize you with water 
unto repentance." It was a symbolic act, signifying that one 
had risen to a higher moral condition. It w^as an act of tran- 
sition. It was a moral act, quite important enough to stand 
by itself, without serving any secondary purpose of initiation 
into any church or sect. Neither John nor afterwards Jesus 
gave to the act any ecclesiastical meaning. It had onl}^ a 
moral significance. It was an act neither of association nor of 
initiation. It was purely personal, beginning and ending with 
the individual subject of it. It conferred, and professed to con- 

\^ ^ 

iB- ^ 


fer, nothing. It was declarator}' of moral transition. Baptism 
is that symbolic act by which a man declares, "I forsake my 
sins, and rise to a better life." 

A study of the fragments of Jolm's discourses enables us to 
imderstand the relation of their subject-matter to the spiritual 
truths which Christ unfolded. He dwelt in the truth of the 
old dispensation. He saw the twilight of the coming day, but 
did not comprehend it. He called men to repentance, but it 
was repentance of sin as measured by the old canons of morality. 
He called men to reformation, but not to regeneration. He 
summoned men back to the highest conception of rectitude then 
known ; but he did not, as Christ did, raise morality into the 
realm of spirituality, and hold forth a new ideal of character, 
incomparably higher than any before taught. If the yery Re- 
former himself, in the estimation of Jesus, was less than the 
least in the kingdom of Heayen, how much lower must his rude 
disciples haye been than the " new man in Christ Jesus " ! 

Ideals are the true germs of growth. No benefactor is like 
him who fills life with new and fruitful ideals. Christ gaye to 
eyery duty a new motiye. Eyery yirtue had an aspiration for 
something yet nobler. He carried forward the bounds of life, 
and assured immortality to the world as a new horizon. He 
blew away the mists of the schools, and the nature of God 
shone out with redoubled radiance. He was the God of the 
Jews, because he was the God of the whole earth. He was King, 
l^ecause he was Father. He was Soyereign, because loye reigns 
throughout the uniyerse. He suffered, and thenceforth altars 
were extinguished. He died, and Sinai became Calyary. Where 
he lay, there was a garden ; and flowers and fragrant clusters 
were the fit symbols of the new era. 

The true place of John's preaching cannot be so well fixed as 
by this contrast. But John answered the end for which he came. 
He had aroused the attention of the nation. He had stimulated, 
eyen if he had not enlightened, the public conscience ; and, 
aboye all, he had excited an eager expectation of some great 
national deliyerance. 

The Jew had deep moral feeling, but little spirituality. His 
moral sense was strong, but narroAV, national, and selfish. Tena- 
cious of purpose, elastic and tough, courageous eyen to fanaticism, 


heroic in suftering, the one element needed to a grand national 
character was love. " Thou slialt love thy friends and hate 
thine enemies," gave ample scope to his natm^e ; for his friends 
were few, and his enemies nearly the whole civilized world. 
The Hebrews looked for a Messiah, and he was already among 
them. Love was his nature, love his mission, and his name 
mio;ht have been called Love. How should he be known bv 
a nation who were practised in every inflection of hatred, but 
who had never learned the spiritual quality of love ? 

Restless as was the nation, and longing for divine interven- 
tion, every portent was quickly noticed. Fierce foctions, and 
from a lower plane the turbulent peoj^le, watched his coming. 
The wretched multitude, a prey by turns to foreigners and to 
their own countrymen, had, with all the rest, a vague and su- 
perstitious faith of the coming Messiah. Holy men like Simeon, 
and devout priests like Zacharias, there were, amidst this seething 
people, who, brooding, longing, waiting, chanted to themselves 
day by day the words of the Psalmist, "My soul waiteth for 
the Lord more than they that watch for the morning." (Ps. 
cxxx. 6.) As lovers that watch for the appointed coming, and 
start at the quivering of a leaf, the flight of a l^ird, or the 
humming of a bee, and grow weary of the tense strain, so 
did the Jews watch for their Deliverer. It is one of the most 
piteous sights of history, especially when we reflect that he 
came, — and they knew him not! 

This growing excitement in all the region around the Jordan 
sent its fiery wave to Jerusalem. The Temj^le, with its keen 
priestly watchers, heard that voice in the wilderness, repeating 
day by day, Avith awful emphasis, " Prepare, prepare ! the Lord 
is at hand ! " With all the airs of arrogant authority came 
down from the Sanhedrim priestly questioners. It is an early 
instance of the examination of a young man for license to 

"Who art thou?" 

"I am not the Christ." 

"What then, art thou EUas?" 

"I am not." 

"Art thou that prophet?" 

" No." 

^. ^ . ^ 



" Who art thou, that we may give an answer to them, that sent 
us ? What sayest thou of thyself ? " 

"I am the Voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make 
straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias." 

" Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor 
Elias, neither that prophet?" 

"I baptize Avith water. But tiieke standeth One among 
YOU whom ye know not. He it is, that, coming after me, is 
preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to un- 

There can be no doubt of the effect of John's replies upon the 
council at Jerusalem. It was simply a denial of their authority. 
It was an appeal from Ritual to Conscience. He came home 
to men with direct and personal appeal, and refused the old 
forms and sacred channels of instruction; and when asked by 
the proper authorities for his credentials, he gave his name, A 
Voice in the Wilderness, as if he owed no obligation to Jeru- 
salem, but only to nature and to God. 

Already, then, their Messiah was mingling in the throng. 
He was looking upon men, and upon John, but was not recog- 
nized. What his thoughts were at the scenes about him, every 
one's own imagination must reveal. 

On the day following the visit of this committee from Jerusa- 
lem, as John was baptizing, there came to him one Jesus from 
Nazareth, and asked to be baptized. John had been forewarned 
of the significant sign by which he should recognize the Messiah : 
"He that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, 
Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining 
on him, the same is he who baptizeth with the Holy Ghost." 
Although that signal had not been given, yet he recognized 
Jesus. Whether, being cousins, they had ever met, we know 
not. It is evident that they were in sympathy, each having 
fully heard of the other. Perhaps they had met year by }ear 
in the feasts of Jerusalem, to which we know that Christ went 
up, and at which John, as a man of the old dispensation and a 
thorough Jew, heart and soul, was even more likely to have 
been present. 

How fierce had been the reply of the Baptist when the 
Pharisees asked to be baptized 1 How gentle was his bearing 

a ^ -^ 


to Jesus, and how humble his expostulation, "I have need to 
be baptized of thee^ and comest thou to me ?" 

His heart recognized the Christ, even before the descent of 
the Spirit. 

Equally beautiful is the reply of Jesus. He had not yet been 
made known by the brooding Spirit. He had neither passed his 
probation, nor received that enlarged liberty of soul which was to 
be to him the signal for his peculiar ministry. He was simply 
a citizen of the commonwealth of Israel, under the Law, and he 
was walking in the footsteps of his people, " that in all things 
he might be made like unto his brethren " " of the seed of 

They went down together, the son of Elizabeth and the son 
of Mary, John and Jesus, into the old river Jordan, that 
neither hastened nor slackened its current at their coming ; for 
the Messianic sign was not to be from the waters beneath, but 
from the heavens above. 

Hitherto the Jordan had been sacred to the patriotic Jew from 
its intimate connection with many of the most remarkable events 
in the history of the commonwealth and of the kingdom. An- 
other Jesus ^ had once conveyed the people from their wanderings 
across this river dry shod. The Jordan had separated David 
and his pursuers when the king fled from his usurping son. 
Elijah smote it to let him and Elisha go over, and erelong 
Elisha returned alone. The Jordan was a long silvery thread, 
on which were strung national memories through many hundred 
years. But all these histories were outshone by the new occur- 
rence. In all Christendom to-day the Jordan means Christ's 
baptism. Profoundly significant as was this event, the first 
outward step by which Jesus entered upon his ministry, it was 
followed by another still more striking and far more important. 
Jesus ascended from the Jordan looking up and praying. (Luke 
iii. 21.) As he gazed, the sky was cleft open, and a beam of 
light flashed forth, and, alighting uj)on him, seemed in bodily 
shape like a dove. Instantly a voice spake from out of heaven, 
" This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Matt, 
iii. 17.) 

^ In the Hebrew the name Saviour appears under the different forms Hoshea 
{Oshea), Jehosiiua (Joshua), later Hebrew Jeshua (Greek Jesus). 

^ — 4^ 

^ ^ 


We know not wliat opening of soul came from this divine 
lig-ht. We know not what cords were loosed and what Ions;- 
bound attributes unfolded, — as buds held by winter unroll in 
the spring. But from this moment Jesus became The Christ! 
He relinquished his liome and ordinary labors. He assumed 
an authority never before manifested, and moved with a dignit}' 
never afterward laid aside. We cannot, by anal3'sis or anal- 
ogy, discern and set forth the change wrought within him by 
the descent of the Holy Ghost. But those who look with douljt 
upon the reality of any great exaltation of soul divinely inspired 
may do well to see what often befalls men. 

It is a familiar fact, that men, at certain periods of their 
lives, experience changes which are like another ])irth. The 
new life, when the passion, and, still more significantly, when the 
sentiment, of love takes full joossession of the soul, is familiar. 
Great men date their birth from the hour of some great inspi- 
ration. Even from human sources, from individual men, and 
from society, electric influences dart out upon susceptible natures, 
which change their future history. How much more powerful 
should this be if there is a Divine Spirit ! If secular influence 
has transforming power, how much more divine influence ! The 
universal belief of the Church, that men are the subjects of sud- 
den and transforming divine influences, is borne out by facts 
without number. The most extraordinary and interesting phe- 
nomena in mental history are those which appear in religious 
conversions. Men are overwhelmed with influences to which 
they were before strangers. Without changing the natural con- 
stitution of the mind, the balance of power is so shifted that 
dominant animal passions go under the yoke, and dormant 
moral sentiments spring up with amazing energy. With such 
sudden transfomiations within, there follows a total outward 
revolution of manners, morals, actions, and aims. Perhaps the 
most dramatic instance is Paul's. But inward changes, without 
the external brilliancy, have been made in thousands of men 
and of women, full as thorough and transforming as that of 
the great Apostle. Indeed, such changes are no longer rare 
or remarkable. They are common and familiar. And even 
though we should join those who, admitting the change, account 
for it upon the lowest theory of natural principles, the main 

^ ^ ^ ^ 


thing whicli we have in view would still be gained; namely, 
to show that the human soul is so organized that, when brought 
under certain influences, it is susceptible of sudden and complete 
transformation . 

If it is thus impressible at the hands of secular influence, hoAV 
much more if there be admitted a divine energy, as it were 
an atmosphere of divine will, in which all material worlds float, 
and out of which physical laws themselves flow, as rills and 
rivers from an inexhaustible reservoir ! 

But the soul upon which the Spirit descended over the Jordan 
was divine. It Avas a divine nature, around which had been 
bound cords of restraint, now greatly loosened, or even snapped, 
by the sacred flame ; with attributes rejDressed, self-infolded, but 
which now, at the celestial touch, were roused to something 
of their pristine sweep and power. 

All before this has been a period of waiting. Upon his ascent 
from the Jordan, Jesus the Christ, indued with power by the 
Holy Spirit, steps into a new sphere. He is now to appear before 
his people as a divine teacher, to authenticate his high claims 
by acts so far above human power that they shall evince the 
Divine presence ; and, finally, to be offered up, through suffer- 
ing unto death, as a sacrifice for sin, — the one victim which 
shall forever supersede all other sacrifices. Here, then, upon 
the banks of the Jordan, begins the new dispensation. 

There is a remarkable symmetry of mystery about John. 
He had all his life lived apart from society, unknowing and 
unknown. Standing by the side of the Jordan, he made him- 
self felt in all Judasa and throughout Galilee. The wise men 
of his time sought in vain to take his measure. Like all men 
who seek to reduce moral truth to exact forms and propor- 
tions, the Pharisees had their gauge and mould, and John would 
not fit to any of them. If he was not Messiah, or Elias, or 
that prophet, he might as well have been nobody. They could 
not understand him ; and when he described himself as a voice 
to men's consciences from the wilderness, it must have seemed 
to his questioners either insanity or mockery. 

We are better informed of his true nature and purposes ; yet 
how little of his disposition, of his personal appearance and habits, 
the style of his discourse, his struggles with himself, his alter- 




nations of hope and fear, do we knoAV ! Looking back for the 
man who moved the whole of Palestine, we can say only that 
he was the Voice from the wilderness. Though the history 
of our Lord will require some further notice of John by and 
by, yet we may here appropriately finish what little remains 
of his personal history. 

He continued to preach and to baptize for some time after 
Christ entered upon his mission, ascending the Jordan from 
near Jericho, where it is supposed that he began his baptismal 
career, to Bethany (not Bethabara), beyond Jordan, and then, 
still higher, to jEnon. His whole ministry is computed to have 
been something over two years. Herod Antipas had long looked 
with a jealous eye upon John's influence. No man who could 
call together and sway such multitudes as John did would be 
looked upon with favor by an Oriental despot. It only needed 
one act of fidelity on the prophet's part to secure his arrest. 


John publicly denounced the wickedness of Herod, and particu- 
larly his indecent marriage with his brother Philip's wife. Hero- 




clias, who eloped from Philip to marry Herod Antipas. John 
was imj)risoned in the castle of Macha3rus, which stood on the 
perpendicular cliffs of one of the streams emptying into the 
Dead Sea from the east, and not far from its shores. There 
John must have remained in captivity for a considerable period 
of time. It was not Herod's intention to do him further harm. 
But Herodias could not forgive the sting of his public rebuke, 
and watched for his destruction. Not long, however, had she 
to wait. By her voluptuous dancing upon a state occasion, at 
a banquet, the daughter of Herodias won from the king the 
boon of choosing her own reward. Instructed by her vindictive 
mother, she demanded the head of John. With a passing re- 
gret, the promise was kept, — and the feast went on. John's 
disciples buried his body. Thus ended the earthly life of this 
child of promise, — the solitary hermit, the ardent reformer, the 
last prophet of the Old Testament line. 

It was upon these mountains of Moab, or in their ravines, 
that Moses was buried. Thus the first great prophet of Israel 
and the last one were buried near to each other, outside of 
the Promised Land, amidst those dark hills beyond Jordan and 
the Dead Sea. 

There is a striking analogy, also, in another respect. Moses 
came only to the border of the Promised Land, the object of his 
whole life's labor. He looked to the north, to the west, to the 
south, over the whole of it. " I have caused thee to see it 
with thine eyes, but thou slialt not go over thither." 

John had gone before the promised Messiah, to prepare his 
way, and to bring in the new dispensation. But he himself 
was not permitted to enter upon it. Out of his prison he 
sent to Jesus an anxious inquiry, " Art thou he that should 
come, or look we for another ? " The account which his disci- 
ples brought back must have assured his lonely heart that the 
Messiah had come. His spirit beheld the dawning day of 
holiness, and was dismissed. 

Until this dxiy no one knows where either Moses or John was 
buried. They were alike in the utter hiding of their graves. 

We have already spoken of the nature of John's baptism. 
The question arises. Why should Jesus be baptized ? His rejDly 




was, '^ T/ms it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness^ But baptism 
was not a part of the Jewish service. Even if proselj^tes 
were baptized into the Jewish church, there is no evidence 
that a Jew was required to be baptized at any period of his hfe. 
We are not to confound the washincjs of the Levitical laAv with 
baptisms, which were totally difterent. It certainly could not 
be a baptism of repentance to Jesus in the same sense that 
it is to all others. Very many solutions have been given of 
this perplexing question.^ 

Every man who has been, like John, successful in arousing 
men from evil and leading them toAvard a higher life, has 
noticed that repentance always takes on at first the form of 
turning from evil, rather than of taking hold on good. To part 
with sweet-hearted sins, to forsake and break up evil habits, 
especially habits formed upon the passions and appetites, re- 
quires vehement exertion. As this is ordinarily the first ex- 
perience in repentance, and usually the most sudden and 
painful one, while righteousness is gradual both in f\ict and 
fruition, so it is not surj^rising that the popular idea of repent- 
ance should be the forsaking of evil. To " break off one's sins 
hy righteousness'' is a later knowledge. And yet this is the 
very core and marrow of repentance. It is the rising from 
grossness into refinement, from selfishness into universal good- 

^ Meyer gives a digest of the various ojjinions wliicli have been held concerning Chri.^t's 
baptism: — "Jesus did not come to be baj^tized from a feeling of personal sinliilness 
(Bruno Bauer, comp. Strauss) ; nor because, according to the Levitical law, his personal 
connection with an impure people rendered him impure (Lange) ; nor for the ])urpose of 
showing that there was no incompatibility between his uup^ aaBevdas and life in the 
Spirit (Hutfman, Weissagwig und Erfiillumj, Vol. II. p. 82) ; nor because baptism im- 
plied a declaration of being subject to a penalty of death (Ebrard) ; nor in order 
to elicit the Divine declaration that he was the Messiah (Paulus) ; nor to confu-m the 
faith of his followers, insomuch as baptism was a symbol of the regeneration of his dis- 
cii)les (Ammon L. J., Vol. I. p. 268) ; nor to sanction the baptism of John by his example 
(Kuinoel, Kern) ; nor to indicate his obligations to obey the law (Hoffinan, Krobbe, 
Osiander) ; nor, lastly, because before the descent of the Spirit he acted like any other 
ordinary Israelite (Hess, Kuhn, comp. Olshausen). 

"The true explanation of this act, as furnished in verse 15, is, that as the IMessiah he 
felt that, according to the Divine will, he had to submit to the baptism of his forerunner, 
in order to receive the divine declaration of his Messianic dignity (verses 16, 17). 

" It was not in baptism that he first became conscious of his dignity as the Messiah, as 
if by that act he had been inwardly transformed into the Messiah ; the expression ' thus 
it becometh us' (verse 15) implies that he was conscious of being the Messiah, and of 
the relation in which, as such, John stood toward hun." — Quoted by Lange, on Matthew, 
Chapter III. 

[Q- ^ 


will, from passion to sentiment, — in short, from the flesh into 
the spirit. 

Repentance, in its last analysis, is rising from a lower life 
into a higher one, and to a holy being this would be the 
side first seen and most valued. To the eye of John, the 
midtitude Avho were baptized by him, " confessing their sins," 
were forsaking evil. In the sight of Christ, they were coming 
to a higher and better life. 

Imagine, then, the sympathy of Jesus for these things. What- 
ever would carry forward the work should be favored. He, 
too, tliough he had no sins to repent of, had higher attainments 
to make. "The Captain of our salvation was made perfect 
through suffering." Even though, in his full and original nature, 
he Avas God, yet while in humiliation, and robbed, as it were, 
of the full disclosure of his own attributes, he must go through 
the unfolding process, and rise from step to step of spiritual 

A l>aptism to a higher life would probably be Christ's interpre- 
tation of John's baptism for himself. And he submitted to it, 
as one of the great multitude. '• It becometh «5." He joined 
the movement; he added his exami:)le to the good work going 
on. Others repented, — or turned from evil to good ; Jesus only 
advanced from point to point in a line of gracious develo^^- 
ment. That which repentance means, in its true spirit, namely, 
the rising from lower to higher moral states, Jesus experienced 
in common with the multitude ; although he had not, like them, 
any need of the stings of remorse for past misconduct to drive 
him upward. Repentance is but another name for aspiration. 








AT every step the disclosure of the life of Jesus was a sur- 
prise. He came into the world as no man would imagine 
that a Divine person would come. His youth was spent with- 
out exhibitions of singular power. His entrance upon public 
life was unostentatious. His baptism, to all but John, was like 
the baptism of any one of the thousands that thronged the 

Shall he now shine out with a full disclosure of himself? 
Shall he at once ascend to Jerusalem, and in the greatness of 
his Divinity make it apparent to all men that he is indeed the 
very Messiah ? 

This was not the Divine method. It was not by a surprise 
of the senses, nor by exciting mere wonder among unthinking 
men, that Jesus would make plain his Divine nature. It was by 
evolving a sweeter and nobler life than man ever does, and in 
circumstances even more adverse than fall to the lot of man, 
that his nature was to be shown. 





It is not strange to us, now well instructed in the spirit of 
Christ's mission, that he did not enter at once upon his work 
of teaching. Midway between his private life, now ended, and 
his public ministry, about to begin, there was to be a long and 
silent discipline. The three narratives , of the Temptation, by 
Matthew, Mark, and Luke, lift us at once into the region of 
mystery. We find ourselves beyond our depth at the first step, 
and deep follows deep to the end. The mystery of that Divine 
Spirit which possessed the Saviour, tlio mystery of forty days' 
conflict in such a soul, the mystery of the nature and power 
of Satan, the mystery of the three final forms into which the 
Temptation resolved itself, — these are beyond our reach. Thej^ 
compass and shroud the scene with a kind of supernatural 
gloom. The best solution we give to the difficulties will cast 
but a twilight upon the scene. 

It has been supposed by many that the Temptation took 
place among the solitary mountains of Moab, beyond the Jor- 
dan. It was thither that Moses resorted for his last and long- 
ing look over the Promised Land ; and it would certainly give 
us a poetic gratification if we could believe that the " exceed- 
ing high" mountain, from which the glory of the world flashed 
upon the Saviour's view, was that same summit upon which his 
type, the great prophet Moses, had stood, thus singularly mak- 
ing the same peak behold the beginning of the two great dis- 
pensations, that of the Old and that of the New Testament. 
It is a pleasant fancy, but hardly true as history. Westward 
from Jericho, rising in places with steep cliffs of white lime- 
stone fifteen hundred feet in height, is a line of mountains, 
whose irregular and rugged tops against the sky, seen from 
the plains of the Jordan, present a noble contrast to the ordi- 
nary monotony of the Judaean hills. One, called Quarantania, 
from its supposed relation to the forty days of temptation, 
has been pointed out by tradition as the scene of the Lord's 
conflict. It rises high, is pierced with caves and gashed with 
ravines, and is solitary and wild enough to have been, as re- 
corded by Mark, a lair of wild beasts, as it continues to be to 
the present day. 

Into the solitude of this mountain in the wilderness came 
Jesus, under the same guidance as that which convoyed the 




prophets of old. Indeed, we must dismiss from our minds mod- 
ern notions, and even the ideas which ruled in the time of Jesus, 
and go back to the days of Samuel, of Elijah, and of Ezekiel, 
if we would get any clew to the imagery and the spirit of 
the extraordinary transaction which we are about to consider. 
Had this scene been recorded of some of the prophets hun- 
dreds of years before, it would have harmonized admirably with 
the narratives which relate the old prophetic histories. But in 
the later days of Gospel history this scene of temptation is 
like some gigantic boulder drifted out of its place and historic 
relations, and out of sight and memory of the cliffs to which in 
kind it belonged. It is in perfect accord with the elder He- 
brew nature, and it was the last and greatest of that sublime 
series of prophetic tableaux, through which Hebrew genius 
delivered to the world its imperishable contributions of moral 

Like the seers of old, Jesus was powerfully excited by the 
descent upon him of the Divine Spirit. There were all the 
appearances common to states in which there is a partial sus- 
pension of voluntary action. The language of the Evangelists is 
significant. Luke says : " And Jesus, being full of the Hohj Ghost, 
returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wil- 
derness" ("led !(/;," says Matthew). But Mark's language is 
more strikingly significant of the prophetic orgasm : " And im- 
mediately the Spifit driveth him into the wilderness." This is 
the language of the prophetrparoxysm. Seized with an irre- 
sistible impulse, so the " holy men of old " were impelled by the 
Spirit. Thus Ezekiel says : " In the visions of God brought he 
me into the land of Israel, and set me upon a very high moun- 
tain." (Ezek. xl. 2.) The operation of the Divine inspiration 
upon the mind of Ezekiel throws important light upon the 
philosophy of this opening scene of Christ's ministry. 

We believe the temptation of Christ to have been an actual 
experience, not a dream or a parable, in which his soul, illumined 
and exalted by the Spirit of God, was brought into personal 
conflict with Satan ; and the conflict was none the less real and 
historic, because the method involved that extraordinary ecstasy 
of the prophet-mind. Of the peculiarities of the prophetic state 
we shall speak a little further on. 

C^-^ ^ 



The whole life of Christ stands between two great spheres 
of temptation. The forty days of the wilderness and the mid- 
nifj-ht in the garden of Gethsemane are as two great cloud- 
gates, of entrance to his ministry and of exit from it. In both 
scenes, silence is the predominant quality. 

The first stage of the Temptation includes the forty days of 
fasting. This may be said to have been the private struggle 
and personal probation. 

The forty days were not for human eyes. If the history of 
these experiences was ever spoken, even to the ear of John, the 
most receptive of the disciples, it was not designed for record 
or publication. It is more probable that the experience was 
incommunicable. Even in our lower sphere, mental conflicts 
cannot be adequately reported. The vacillations of the soul, a 
full expression of its anxieties, its agonizing suspense, shame, 
remorse, of its yearnings and ambitions, cannot be uttered or 
written. For the word "shame" does not describe the expe- 
rience of shame. Nor is the word "love" a portrait of love. 
The real life of the heart is always unfolding in silence ; and 
men of large natures carry in the centre of their hearts a se- 
cret garden or a silent wilderness. But in how much greater 
degree is this true of the mystery of Christ's temptation in 
the wilderness, and of his trial in Gethsemane ! If there are 
no heart-words for full human feeling, how much less for di- 


We know that Jesus grappled with the powers of the invis- 
ible world, and that he was victorious. His life in the wilder- 
ness is not to be imagined as the retirement of a philosophic 
hermit to contemplative solitude. The cavernous mountain was 
not merely a study, in which our Lord surveyed in advance 
the purposes of his ministerial life. All this, doubtless, formed 
a part of his experience ; but there was more than studious 
leisure and natural contemplation. There was a conflict between 
his soul and the powers of darkness ; a sphere of real energy, in 
which the opposing elements of good and evil in the universe 
met in intense opposition. 

Out from that infinite aerial ocean in the great Obscure, 
beyond human life, came we know not what winds, what im- 
measurable and sweeping forces of temptation. But that the 




power and kingdom of the Devil were there concentrated upon 
him, was the behef of his disciples and the teaching of the 
Apostles, and it is the faith of the Christian Church. It is not 
needful for us to understand each struggle and its victory. It 
is enough for us to know, that in this unfriendly solitude every 
faculty in man that is tried in ordinary life was also tested and 
proved in Jesus. 

He was ''tempted in all points" or faculties, as we are, though 
not with the same means and implements of temptation. No 
human being will ever be tried in appetite, in passion, in affec- 
tion, in sentiment, in will and reason, so severely as Avas the 
Lord ; and his victory w\as not simj)ly that he withstood the 
particular blasts that rushed upon him, but that he tested the 
utmost that Satan could do, and was able to bear up against 
it, and to come off a conqueror, — every faculty stamped with 
the sign of invincibility. 

The proof of this appeared in all his career. The members 
of his soul were jDut to the same stress that sinful men experi- 
ence in daily life. There may be new circumstances, but no 
new temptations ; there may be new cunning, new instruments, 
new conditions, but nothing will send home temptation with 
greater force than he experienced, or to any part of the soul 
not assaulted in him. Through that long battle of life in which 
every man is engaged, and in every mood of the struggle wdiich 
men of aspiration and moral sense make toward perfect holi- 
ness, there is an inspiration of comfort to be derived from the 
example of Christ. In places the most strange, and in the 
desolate way where men dwell with the wild beasts of the pas- 
sions, if there be but a twilight of faith, we shall find his foot- 
step, and know that he has been there, — is there again, living 
over anew in us his own struggles, and saying, with the author- 
ity of a God and the tenderness of a father : ' " In the world ^^e 
shall have tribulation ; but be of good cheer ; I have overcome 
the world." The world is a better place to live in, since Christ 
suffered and triumphed in it. 

We pass now to another form of the Temptation. It was 
no longer to be a private and personal scrutiny. Jesus had 
baffled the tempter, and driven him back from the gate of 
every emotion. But Jesus was not to be a private citizen. He 

rb . ■ ^ ■ ^ 

[S ^ ^ 


had a transcendent work to perform, of teaching and of suffer- 
ing. His hands were to bear more largely than before the 
power of God. Since the descent upon him of the Spirit on the 
banks of the Jordan, the hidden powers of his nature were 
springing into activity. Only when he was prepared to lay 
aside the clog of an earthly body, could he be clothed again 
with all that glory which he had with the Father before the 
world was. But the entrance upon his public ministry was to 
be signalized, if not by the disclosure of his full nature, yet by 
an ampler intelligence and a wider scope of power. Tropical 
plants in northern zones, brought forward under glass, their 
roots compressed to the size of the gardener's jDot, and their tojos 
pruned back to the dimensions of the green-house, are at mid- 
summer turned out into the open ground, and th^re shoot forth 
with new life and vigor ; and yet never, in one short August, 
attain to the grandeur of their native tropical growth. So this 
Heavenly Palm, dropped down upon Palestine, dwarfed by child- 
hood and youth, shot forth new growth when enfranchised by 
the Holy Spirit ; and 3^et could not in this climate, in the 
short summer of human life, swell to the full proportions of its 
celestial life. 

These swellings of power, this new radiance of intelligence, 
were to be employed according to the law of Heaven*; and to 
this end was permitted that dramatic threefold temptation with 
which the scene in the wilderness closes. 

We have already said that the three closing temptations of 
Christ are to be regarded, not as parables, but as prophetic vis- 
ions. They were historical events, but in the same sense as the 
visions of Isaiah or of Ezekiel were historical. Jesus Avas a He- 
brew, and stood in the line of the Hebrew proj^hets. However 
fiintastic the scenery and the action of the closing temptations 
may seem to modern thought, they were entirely congruous with 
the Hebrew method of evolving the highest moral truths. Nor 
can we fully appreciate them without some knowledge of the 
prophetic ecstasy. 

The prophet-mind, in its highest moods, hung in a trance 
between the real physical life and the equally real spiritual 
state. The inspiration of those moods seems to have carried 
up the mind far beyond its ordinary instruments. Not ideas, 

^ ^ ^ 



but pictures, were before it. The relations of time and place 
seemed to disappear. The prophet, though stationary, seemed 
to himself to be ubiquitous. He was borne to distant nations, 
made the circuit of kingdoms, held high conference with mon- 
archs, saw the events of empires disclosed as in a glass. His 
own body often became unconscious. He lost ordinary sight 
of the physical world. He slept. He swooned. For long peri- 
ods of time he neither hungered nor thirsted. The prophets saw 
visions of the spirit-land. Angels conversed with them.' The 
throne of God blazed full upon their dazzled eyes. 

More wonderful still was the symbolization employed in this 
prophetic state. All the globe became a text-book. Beasts 
were symbols of kings or of kingdoms. Floods, whirlwinds, and 
earthquakes moved in procession before them as tj^pes of events 
in history. The rush and might of human passions, revolutions, 
and wars, were written for them in signs of fire and blood. 
Captivity and dispersion were set forth in the gorgeous imagery 
of storm-driven clouds ; of the sun and moon stained with blood ; 
of stars, panic-stricken, like defeated warriors, rushing headlong 
through the heavens. 

How little are the close-cut wings of the modern imagination 
prepared to follow the circuits of men who dwelt in this uj^per 
picture-world, where the reason was inspired through the im- 
agination ! Physical science has as yet no analogue for such 
moods. The alembic says, It is not in me ; the rocks and soil 
sa}^, It is not in us. Poets, nearest of any, are in sympathy 
Avith the prophets ; but they mostly sing in the boughs, low 
down, and not from the clear air above. The whole life of the 
prophet was absorbed into an intense spiritual intuition. 

The moral faculties of the human soul have this suscepti- 
bility to ecstatic exaltation, and therefore the prophetic mood 
was in so far natural. But these foculties never unfold into the 
ecstatic visions of prophecy except by the direct impulse of 
the Divine power. And herein the prophetic differs from the 
merely poetic. 

If the prophets had left only these gigantic frescoes, we might 
pass them by as the extraordinary product of fantasy. But 
this was the prophetic style of thinking. Out of all this won- 
derfid commixture came the profoundest teaching in regard to 



national morality, the most advanced views of their times as to 
personal purity and dignity, the most terrible invectives against 
dishonor in the individual and corruption in the government. 
Those clouds and flames and stonns, those girdles and yokes 
and flails, those trumpets and voices and thunders, were only 
so many letters by which were spelled out, not merely the no- 
blest spiritual truths of the prophets' age, l^ut truths which are 
the glory of all ages. Men often are glad of the fruit of the 
prophetic teaching, who reject w4th contempt the methods by 
which prophets taught. 

The eflect becomes ludicrous when modern interpreters, not 
content Avith a disclosure of the ruling thought, attempt to 
transform the whole gorgeous picture into modern equivalents, 
to translate every sign and symbol into a literal fact. Some 
have thought that prophets were insane. They were always 
rational enough in their own ways. It has been the interpret- 
ers and commentators who have gone crazy. The attempt of 
men to work up the Song of Solomon into church-going apparel 
is folly past all conceit. Spelling Hebrew words with English 
letters is not translation. Solomon's Song, in our modern expo- 
sition, would have put Solomon and all his court into amaze- 
ment. Who can reproduce the opalesque visions of Ezekiel and 
Hosea in the lustreless language of modern days ? If men were 
to attempt with brick and mortar to build a picture of the auro- 
ral lio-hts, it would scarcely be more absurd than the attempt to 
find modern equivalents for every part of the sublime Apoca- 
lypse of St. John. Let every nation think in its own language. 
Let every period have its own method of inspiration. As we do 
not attempt to build over again Egyptian temples in American 
cities, new pyramids on our prairies, but allow those sublime 
memorials to remain where they belong, symbols of the thought 
of ages ago, so we are to let the old prophets stand in their 
solitary grandeur. 

Like the prophets of earlier days, Jesus fasted long, and, shut- 
ting out external scenes, except such as belonged to the most 
solitary phases of nature, he rose at length to the vision state ; 
for as in oratorios, the overture foreshadows in brief the con- 
trolling spirit and action of the whole performance, so in the 
three trial points which close the Temptation, there would seem 



to be a foreshadowing of the trials which through his whole 
career would beset Jesus in the use of Divine power. 

It is impossible for us to strive too earnestly to gahi some idea 
of tliis mystery. Yet, witli all our powers of sympathy and im- 
agination, we cannot enter vividly into the condition of a pure 
being, come into the world from the bosom of God to take the 
place of a subject and of suffering man. He was "plagued as 
others are"; he was poor and dependent on friends for very 
bread, and yet was conscious of carrying within himself a 
power by which the whole world should fly to serve him ; he 
was in disgrace, the pity of the ignorant and the scorn of the 
great, and yet held in his hand that authority by which, at a 
word, the very stars should praise him, and his brightness out- 
shine the utmost pomp of kings ; he was counted with servants, 
and yet conscious of infinite dignity j he was hated, hunted, 
persecuted, even unto death, — a death, too, which then sug- 
gested turpitude and ignominy, — and yet possessed, unused, a 
power which made him superior to all and more powerful tliiyi 
all. Such experiences might well require beforehand that train- 
ing and divine instruction by which the Captain of our salvation 
was to be made perfect. 

Weary with watching, and spent with hunger, he beholds 
the Adversary aj)proach. " If thou be the Son of God, command 
that these stones be made bread." This scene will be desecrated 
if we cannot rise above the gross materialism of the Latin 
Church. Contrast the awful simplicity of Christ's teachings re- 
specting evil spirits with the grotesque and hideous representa- 
tions of the media3val ages. The Romans, it is probable, derived 
this taint of the imagination from the old Tuscans, to w^hom, if 
we may judge from what remains of their arts, the future was 
a paradise of horrors.-^ This sensuousness of imagination, and 

. ^ " The predominating feature of tlie Etruscan nation, a feature -n-liich had been the 
result of a natural disposition, and principally of a sacerdotal system very skilfully com- 
bined, Avas a gloomy and cruel superstition. The science of the aruspices and the dis- 
cipline of the augurs were, as is well known, of Etruscan invention ; it was from Etruria 
that this kind of superstition, reduced to a system carefully drawn up, was imported at 
an eai-ly period into Rome, where it became the religion of the state, and, as such, intol- 
erant and absolute; while in Greece ideas originally similar, but removed at an early 
period from the exclusive dominion of the priests, exercised through the means of oracles 
and great national festivities, which continually placed the people in movement and the 
citizens in connection one with the other, — exercised, I say, uo other influence and 

^^ ^ 

[^ ^ 


crnel conception of the future, passed into the Roman Christian 

The sublime conception of the Evil One as an intelligent 
prince, who would organize the world for selfish pleasure, and 
who perpetually strives to bring down spirit to matter and life 
to mere sense, the everlasting antagonist of the God of love 
and of pure spirit, gives place in the Roman theology to those 
monstrous images which have but the single attribute of hideous 
and brutal cruelty. That fatal taint has corrupted the popu- 
lar idea of Satan to this day. He is not a mighty spirit, but 
a sooty monster, an infernal vampire, a heathen Gorgon. The 
figures of the Scripture, which in their place are not mislead- 
ing, the serpent and the lion, (figures employed by Jesus to 
inculcate qualities becoming even in Christians,) joined to the 
herd of bestial images with which heathenism — the heathen- 
ism of a degraded Christianity — has filled the world, lapse into 
excessive grossness and vulgarity. 

. Not such was the great Tempter of the wilderness. He might 
well have risen upon the Saviour's sight as fair as when, after 
a stormy night, the morning star dawns from the east upon the 
mariner, — "an angel of light." To suppose that there could 
be any temptation experienced by Jesus, at the solicitation of 
such a Devil as has been pictured by the imaginations of 
monks, is to degrade him to the level of the lowest natures. 
In this ecstatic vision we may supf)Ose that there arose upon 
the Saviour's imagination the grandest conception of reason and 
of wisdom. It was not meant to seem a temptation, but only 
a rational persuasion. It was the SjDirit of this World, solicit- 
ing Jesus to employ that Divine power which now began to 

acquired no other authority than that of popuhxr legends and traditions. With this 
feature of the national character in ancient Etruria, a feature which emanates from a 
primitive disposition, strengthened by the sacerdotal system, we shall soon see how 
strongly impressed are all the monuments of this people. Hence the human sacrifices 
which were for a long time in use there. Hence the blood-stained combats of gladiators, 
which were also of Etruscan origin, and which, after having been for a long time a game 
among that people, became a passion among the Romans. Hence, in fine, the terrible 
images made to inspire terror which are so frequently produced on the monuments of this 
people, — the larvae, the phantoms, the monsters of all kinds, the Scyllae, the Medusa, 
the Furies with hideous features, and Divine justice under avenging forms ; while in 
Greece milder manners, cultivated by a more humane religion, represented death under 
agreeable, smiling, and almost voluptuous images." — Raoul Rochette, Lectures on Ancient 
Art, translated from the French, (London, 1854,) pp. 54, 55. 

^ ^ 

[&- ■ -ft 


efFulge in him, for secular and physical, rather than for moral 
and spiritual ends. It was, if one might so say, the whole self- 
ish spirit of time and history, pleading that Jesus should work 
upon matter and for the flesh, rather than upon the soul and 
for the spirit. 

"If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be 
made bread." 

If this scene were historic in the sense of an ordinary per- 
sonal history, how slight to a divine nature would be the temp- 
tation of eating bread, and how harmless the act solicited ! 
For if it is right that man should employ his fliculties in rear- 
ing harvests to supply necessary food, would it be wrong for 
the Son of Man to employ his power in procuring the needed 
bread ? 

But as a vision of prophetic ecstasy, in which bread is the 
symbol of physical life, the temptation is genuine and vital. 
"Draw from its sheath the power of thine omnipotence, if thou 
be the Son of God. Come forth from the wilderness as the 
patron of physical thrift. Teach men inventions. Multiply har- 
vests. Cover the world with industry and wealth. Nourish 
commerce. Let villages grow to cities. Let harbors swarm 
with ships. How glorious shalt thou be, how will men follow 
thee and all the world be subdued to thy empire, if thou wilt 
command the very stones to become bread ! If such power as 
thou surely hast shall inspire even the dead rocks with nour- 
ishment. Nature, through all her realm, will feel the new life, 
and seed and fruit, vine and tree, will give forth a glorious 
abundance, and the wilderness shall blossom as the rose." 

This temptation, interpreted from the side of prophetic sym- 
bolism, struck the very key-note. Shall Jesus be simply a civ- 
ilizer, or shall he come to develop a new soul-life ? Is it to give 
new force to matter, or to break through matter and raise the 
human soul to the light and joy of the great spiritual sphere 
beyond ? He came from the spirit-land to guide the mnermost 
soul of man, through matter, to victory over it. 

The reply, " It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, 
but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God," 
is the precise counterpart and repulsion of the perverting sug- 
gestion of Satan. " Men do not need that to be strengthened 

a ^ ^ 


in them which is already too strong. Not silver and gold, nor 
wine and oil, nor cities and kingdoms great in riches, will raise 
my brethren to a higher manhood. My new food they need, 
but that food is spirit-life. The word of love, the word of 
mercy, the word of justice and holiness, issuing from God, — on 
these the inner life of man must feed." 

Was not this single temptation a glass, in which he saw the 
whole throng of temptations that would meet him at every 
turn, namely, of absolute power used for immediate and per- 
sonal convenience ? We do not enough consider what a perpet- 
ual self-denial would be required to carry omnipotence, unused 
and powerless, amidst the urgent requirements of a life vehe- 
mently pressed with motives of self-indulgence in its myriad 
minor forms. 

The vision passed ; but another rose in its place. Since he 
would not employ physical power for physical results, since men 
were not to be led through their physical wants, but through 
their spiritual nature, Jesus was next solicited to let the spirit 
of admiration and praise be the genius of the new movement. 
And now the vision took form. There stood the Temple, and 
from the peak of the roof on the court of Solomon, the 
plunge downward, over the cliff, to the deep valley below, was 
fearful. But wonderful indeed would it be if one casting him- 
self down thither, in the sight of priests and people, should be 
buoyed up by invisible hands, and, bird-like, move through the 
air unharmed. 

" If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence ; 
for it is written. 

He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee ; 

And in their hands they shall bear thee up, 

Lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone." 

This symbol, as a trial scene, contains not only an appeal to 
the love of praise in Jesus, but an apj^eal to the principle of 
admiration in the multitude. If he would have a prosjDerous fol- 
lowing and an easy victory over the world, let him become the 
master of marvels. Let him show men that a Divinity was 
among them, not by the inspiration of a higher life in their 
souls, but by such a use of Divine power as should captivate 
the fancy of all who saw the wonders of skill, of beauty, of 

[&^ ^ 


power and daring, which he should show. Still more, let him 
emjDloy his Divine power to shield his heart from the contempt 
of inferiors who were outwardly to be his masters. He was to 
be a servant, when he knew that he was Lord ; he was to have 
not where to lay his head, — birds and foxes having more 
rights than he. He was to be surrounded with spies, and 
pointed at as a Jew without love of country, as conniving 
with Rome and undermining the Temple. In every way, his 
outward inferiority Avas to be sharpl}^ brought home to him, 
and that instinctive desire of all right souls, to be held in 
esteem, was to be painfully excited. One flash of his will, 
and scoffs would become hosannas. Let him employ Divine 
power for the production of pleasure and surprise and brilliant 
applause, and men would honor him, and save him from that 
undervaluing contempt which the spirit of the Temj)le (on 
which in vision he stood) was yet erelong to pour upon him. 

1\\ a parallel way, the apparition from the mountain-top, of all 
the glory of the nations, as a literal fact was impossible except 
by a miracle. And though a miracle is a fact whoU}^ within 
the boimds of reason, yet we are not needlessly to convert com- 
jnon events into miracles. There is no such mountain, nor on 
a round globe can be. Besides, as a direct persuasion to wor- 
ship Satan, it would be worse than feeble, it would be puerile. 
Far otherwise would it seem in a prophetic vision, where, as a 
symbol, it was to the real truth what letters and sentences are 
to the meaning which they express. The impression produced 
outruns the natural force of the syml)ol. 

There was a tremendous temptation to exhibit before men 
his real place and authority; to appear as great as he realty 
was ; to so use his energies that men should admit him to be 
greater than generals, higher than kings, more glorious than 
Temple or Palace. In that mountain vision he saw the line of 
temptations which would beat in upon the principle of self-es- 
teem, that source and fountain of aml)ition among men. In all 
three of these final outbursts we see a prophetic" representation 
of temptations addressed to his public and ministerial course. 
They related to that matter of transcendent importance, the 
carriage and uses of absolute power. He was in danger of 
breaking through the part which he had undertaken. He must 





keep the level of humanity, not in moral character alone, 
but in the whole handling of his Divinity. Men have argued 
that Christ did not manifest Divine power; forgetting that it 
was to lay aside his governing power, and to humble him- 
self as a man, that he came into the world. With men, the 
difficulty is to rise into eminence. With Jesus, the very re- 
verse was true. To keep upon the level of humanity was his 
task, and to rise into a common and familiar use of absolute 
power was his danger. 

This view is not exhaustively satisfactory. No view is. 
Whichever theory one takes in explaining the Temptation, he 
must take it with its painful perplexities. That which is im- 
portant to any proper consideration of the obscure sublimity 
of this mystery is, that it shall be a temptation of the Devil 
as an actual personal spirit; that it shall be a real temptation, 
or one that put the faculties of Christ's soul to task, and re- 
quired a resistance of his whole nature, as other temptations do 
of human nature. It is on this account that we have regarded 
the Temptation as of two parts or series, — the first, a personal 
and private conflict running through forty solitary days of fast- 
ino- in the wilderness ; and the second, a ministerial trial, rep- 
resented by the symbolism of the bread, the Temple, and the 

It is not because we think the literal history open to many 
of the objections urged that we prefer the theory of a symbolic 
vision. The difficulty sometimes alleged, that the Scripture nar- 
rative clothes Satan with transcendent power, is not a valid 
objection, unless the whole spirit of the New Testament on 
this point be false and misleading. He is a prince of power. 
Neither is it an objection that Christ seemed to submit to his 
dictation. For Jesus had humbled himself; he had put himself 
under the dominion of natural law, of civil rulers, of ecclesi- 
astical requirements ; and why should we hesitate to accept 
this experience of the domineering arm of the TemjDter? 

Nor should we hesitate, if they were all, at the feeble ques- 
tions, "How could he be conveyed to the Temple's summit?" 
and, " How would it be possible from any mountain-top to see 
the whole world, or any considerable part of it?" If the temp- 
tation in such a literal manner was needful and appropriate, 

[&- ^ 


there can be no doubt that there was miraculous power to pro- 
duce its conditions. 

But we disincline to the literal because it renders Satan a 
wretched, puerile creature, shallow, flippant, and contemptible. 
It makes it impossible that Christ should have been tempted. 
Such bald suggestions would scarcely have power to move a 
child. They would be to Christ what a fool's bauble would 
be to a statesman like Cecil, what a court jester's fribbles 
would have been to Bacon or to Sully. The very possibility 
of tempting such a one as Jesus requires that Satan should be 
a person of some grandeur of nature, one whose suggestions 
should indicate a knowledge of the springs of the human heart, 
and some wisdom in acting upon them. 

The practical benefit of this mysterious and obscure passage 
in the life of Jesus does not depend upon our ability to re- 
duce it by analysis to some equivalent in human experience. 
It is enough that the fact stands clear, that he who was hence- 
forth to be the spiritual leader of the race came to his power 
among men by means of trial and suffering. The experience 
of loneliness, of hunger, and of weariness for forty days, of 
inward strife against selfishness, pride, and the glittering falsi- 
ties of vanity, brought him into sympathy with the trials 
through which must pass every man who seeks to rise out of 
animal conditions into a true manhood. Suffering has slain myr- 
iads ; yet, of all who have reached a true moral greatness, not 
one but has been nourished by suffering. Perfection and suffer- 
ing seem, in this sphere, inseparably joined as effect and cause. 

Here too, in this strange retirement, we behold the New Man 
refusing the inferior weapons of common secular life, determined 
to conquer by "things that are not," by the "invincible might 
of weakness," by the uplifting force of humility, by the secret 
energy of disinterested love, and by that sublime insight. Faith, 
not altogether unknown before, but which thereafter was to 
become the great spiritual force of history. 




ATO man will ever succeed in so reproducing an age long past 
l\ that it shall seem to the beholder as it did to those who 
lived in it. Even if one is in possession of all the facts, and has 
skill to draw a j)erfect picture, he cannot prevent our looking 
upon a past age with modern eyes, and with feelings and asso- 
ciations that will put into the picture the coloring of our own 
time. But we can approach the times and spirit of Roman 
life, or of life in Athens in the days of Socrates, far more 
readily and easih' than Ave can the Jewish life in the time of 
Christ. He was of the Shemitic race ; we are of the Japhetic. 
The orderliness of our thought, the regulated perceptions, the 
loo:ical arrano-ements, the riojorous subordination of feelino- to 

G CD ^ CD O 

volition, the supremacy of reason over sentiment and imagina- 
tion, which characterize our day, make it almost impossible for 
us to be in full sympathy with people who had little genius for 
abstractions, and whose thought moved in such association with 
feeling: and imagination that to the methodical man of the West 
much of Oriental literature which is most esteemed in its home 
seems like a glittering dream or a gorgeous fantasj^ 

But the attempt to reproduce the person and mind of Jesus, 
aside from the transcendent elevation of the subject, meets with 
a serious obstacle in our unconscious preconceptions. We can- 
not see him in Galilee, nor in Judaea, just as he was. We look 
back upon him through a blaze of light. The utmost care will 
not wholly prevent our beholding Jesus through the medium 
of subsequent history. It is not the Jesus who suffered in 
Palestine that we behold, but the Christ that has since filled 
the world with his name. It is difficult to put back into the 
simple mechanic citizen Him whom ages have exalted to Divin- 
ity. Even if we could strain out the color of history, we could 









a- ^ 


not stop the beatings of the heart, nor disenchant the imagina- 
tion, nor forget those personal struggles and deep experiences 
which have connected our lives in so strange a manner with 
his. We cannot lay aside our faith like a garment, nor change 
at will our yearning and affection for Christ, so as not to see 
him in the light of our own hearts. His very name is a love- 
name, and kindles in tender and grateful natures a kind of 
poetry of feeling. As at evening we see the sun through an 
atmosphere Avhich the sun itself has filled with vapor, and by 
which its color and dimensions are changed to the eye, so we 
see in Jesus the qualities which he has inspired in us. 

Such a state of mind inclines one to devotion, rather than 
to philosophical accuracy. The exalted idea which we hold of 
Jesus, and our implicit and reverential view of his Divinity, still 
tend, as they have tended hitherto, to give an ideal color to 
his person and to his actual appearance among men in the 
times in which he lived. It is unconsciously assumed that the 
inward Divinity manifested itself in his form and mien. We 
see him in imagination, not as they saw him who companied 
w^itli him from the beginning, but under the dazzling reflection 
of two thousand years of adoration. To men of his own times 
he was simply a citizen. He came to earth to be a man, and 
succeeded so perfectly that he seemed to his own age and to his 
followers to be only a man. That he was remarkable for jDurity 
and for power of an extraordinary kind, that he was a great 
prophet, and lived in the enjoyment of peculiar favor with God, 
and in the exercise of prerogatives not vouchsafed to mere men, 
was fully admitted ; but until after his resurrection, none even 
of his disciples, and still less any in the circle beyond, seem to 
have held that view of his person which we are prone to form 
when in imagination we go back to Palestine, carrying with 
us the ideas, the pictures, the worship, which long years of 
training have bred in us. 

There is one conversation recorded which bears directly on 
this very point, namely, the impression which Jesus made upon 
his own time and countrymen. It was near the end of his 
first year of ministry. He was in the neighborhood of Ccesarea 
Philippi, north of Galilee, where he had been engaged in way- 
side prayer with his disciples. By combining the narratives 



^ ■ -Q] 


ill the synoptic Gosj^els we have the following striking conver- 

" Whom do men say that I, the Son of Man, am ? " 

And the disciples answered and said : " Some say that thou art 
John the Baptist ; but some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah, 
or that one of the old 2)rophets is risen again." 

And Jesus saith unto them : " But whom say ye that I am ? " 

Simon Peter answered and said unto him : " Thou art the 
Christ, the Son of the living God." 

This, it is true, is an explicit avowal of the speaker's belief 
that Jesus was the Messiah. But how imperfect the reigning 
expectation of even the most intelligent Jews must have been, 
in regard to that long-expected personage, need not be set forth. 
That the disciples themselves had but the most vague and un- 
satisfying notion is shown, not alone by their whole career until 
after the Lord's ascension, but by the instruction which Jesus 
proceeded to give them in immediate connection with this con- 
versation. He began to make known to them what should befall 
him at Jerusalem, his sufferings, his death and resurrection ; 
whereat Peter rebuked him, and was himself rej^roved for the 
unworthiness of his conceptions. 

There is absolutely nothing to determine the personal appear- 
ance of Jesus. Some ideas of his bearing, and many of his 
habits, may be gathered from incidental elements recorded in . 
the Gospels. But to his form, his height, the character of his 
face, or of any single feature of it, there is not the slightest 
allusion. Had Jesus lived in Greece, we should have had a 
very close jDortraiture of his person and countenance. Of the 
great men of Greece — of Socrates, of Demosthenes, of Pericles, 
and of many others — we have more or less accurate details 
of personal appearance. Coins and statues reveal the features 
of the Roman contemporaries of Jesus; but of Him, the one 
historic personage of whose form and face the whole world most 
desires some knowledge, there is not a trace or a hint. The 
disciples were neither literary nor artistic men. It is doubtful 
whether the genius of the race to which they belonged ever 
inclined them to personal descriptions or delineations. 

The religion and the patriotism of the Greek incited him to 
fill his temples with statues of gods, and with the busts of heroes 

-. ^ PP 


and of jDatriots. The Greek artist was scrupulously trained to 
the study of the human form, with special reference to its rep- 
resentation in art. But the Jew was forbidden to make any 
image or likeness or symbol of Divinity. The prohibition, 
though j^rimarily confined to Deity, could not but affect the 
whole education in art; and it is not surprising that there was 
no Jewish art, — that paintings and statues were unknown, — 
that Solomon's Temple was the single specimen of pure Jewish 
architecture of which there is any history. Probably even that 
Avas Phoenician, or, as some think, Persian. 

But when men have not formed the habit of representing 
external things from an artistic point of view, they do not 
observe them closely. We cannot, therefore, wonder that there 
is nothing which was at any time said by the common people, 
or by their teachers and rulers, and that nothing fell out upon 
his trial, among Roman S23ectators, and nothing in the subse- 
quent history, which throws a ray of light upon the personal 
appearance of Jesus of Nazareth. 

We know not whether he was of moderate height or tall, 
whether his hair was dark or light, whether his eyes were blue, 
or gray, or piercing black. We have no hint of mouth or brow, 
of posture, gesture, or of those personal peculiarities which give 
to every man his individual look. All is blank, although four 
separate accounts of him were written within fifty 3'ears of his 
earthly life. He is to us a personal power without a form, a 
name of wonder without portraiture. It is true that there is a 
conventional head of Christ, which has come down to us through 
the schools of art, but it is of no direct historic value. 

The early Fathers were divided in opinion, whether our Lord 
had that dignity and beauty which became so exalted a person, 
or whether he was uncomely and insignificant in appearance. 
Both views appealed to the prophecies of the Old Testament 
respecting the Messiah : " Thou art fairer than the children of 
men ; grace is poured into thy lips ; therefore God hath blessed 
thee forever. Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, most Mighty, 
with thy glory and thy majesty." (Psalm xlv. 2, 3.) 

On the other hand : " Who hath believed our report ? And 
to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed ? For he shall grow up 
before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground; 




he hath no form nor comeliness ; and when we shall see him, 
there is no beauty that we should desire him." (Isaiah liii. 
1, 2.) 

As men adhered to the one or the other of these and like 
passages, they formed their theory of Christ's personal appear- 
ance. During the persecutions of the second and third centuries, 
the poor and despised Christian found it pleasant to believe that 
his Master was, though very God, yet as insignificant outwardly, 
and as wretched, as the most vulgar of his disciples. But when 
Christianity began to triumph, and to hold the sceptre of gov- 
ernment, it was very natural that its votaries should desire to 
give to its founder a more regal aspect. St. Jerome inveighed 
against the earlier view, contending that, had our Lord not 
carried a truly Divine countenance, his disciples would not so 
implicitly have ol^eyed and followed him at his first call. It 
was not far, probably, from the beginning of the fourth cen- 
tury that the famous letter was forged, purporting to have been 
written by Publius Lentulus, a friend of Pilate, and a contem- 
porary of Jesus, of which we shall soon speak. 

Portraits of Christ began to appear about the same time, each 
one having a legend which carried it back to the original; and 
by the sixth century every principal city and Christian commu- 
nity had some image, picture, cameo, or other representation 
of Christ, of which hardly any two were alike. The absurdity 
became so offensive that the Seventh General Council, held in 
Constantinople in 754, condemned all pictures whatsoever which 
pretended to have come direct from Christ or his Apostles.^ 

Such a letter as the fictitious ejDistle of Publius Lentulus, 
had one been written by a Greek or Roman contemporary of 
the Lord, would be of unspeakable interest. But, aside from 
the rare beauty of its description, this famous letter is of in- 
terest only as showing what wxre the received opinions of 
Christians in the fourth century respecting our Lord's personal 
appearance. We append the letter.^ 

^ An excellent summary of the history of the ideas concerning our Lord's appearance 
may be found in the Introduction to the first volume of the Life of our Lord as exem- 
plifed in Works of Art, &c., &c., begun by Mrs. Jameson, and continued by Lady East- 

^ " In this time appeared a man, who lives till now, — a man endowed with great powers. 
Men call him a great prophet ; his own disciples term him the Son of God. His name 



Although the sacred Scriptures furnish not a single hint of 
his mien, and although the negative evidence is strong that there 
was nothing remarkable in his countenance on ordinary occa- 
sions, it is not improbable that his disciples, as they everywhere 
narrated the principal events of his life, would be inquired of 
as to their Master's looks. Nor is it unlikely that they recalled 
what they could of his countenance, for the gratification of a 
curiosity inspired by love and reverence. The letter of Publius 
Lentulus may therefore be supposed to give a clear view of the 
countenance which art had already adopted, and which after- 
ward served virtually as the type of all the heads of Christ hy 
the great Italian masters, and by almost all modern artists. It 
is not a little remarkable that this typical head of Christ is 
not a Jewish head. The first portraits of Christ were made by 
Greek artists, in the degenerate days of Grecian art. They 
could hardly help bringing unconsciously to their w^ork the 
feelings and ideas inspired by the splendid representations which 
had been made, by the renowned artists of their countr}^, of 
the figures and heads of the mythologic deities, and especiallj^ 
of Zeus, — to them not only the chief of gods, but the highest 
realization of majesty and authority. 

But now is to be seen the modifying influence of the Chris- 
tian ideas in respect to the expression of Divinity. The Chris- 
tian artists all attempted to express in our Lord's face a feeling 

is Jesus Christ. He restores the dead to life, and cures the sick of all manner of dis- 

" This man is of noble and Avell-proportioned stature, with a face full of kindness and 
yet firmness, so that the beholders both love him and fear him. His hair is the color 
of wine, and golden at the root, — straight, and without lustre, — but from the level of 
the ears curling and glossy, and divided down the centre after the fashion of the Naza- 
renes (i. e. Nazarites). His forehead is even and smooth, his face without blemish, and 
enhanced by a tempered bloom. His countenance ingenuous and kind. Nose and mouth 
are in no way faulty. His beard is full, of the same color as his hair, and forked in form ; 
his eyes blue, and extremely brilliant. 

" In reproof and rebuke he is formidable ; in exhortation and teaching, gentle and 
amiable of tongue. None have seen him to laugh ; but many, on the contrary, to weep. 
His person is tall ; his hands beautiful and straight. In speaking he is deliberate and 
grave, and little given to loquacity. In beauty surpassing most men." 

There is another description of Jesus found in the writings of St. John of Damascus, Avho 
lived in the eighth century, and which is taken, without doubt, from earlier writers. He 
says that " Jesus was of stately growth, with eyebrows that joined together, beautiful eyes, 
curly hair, in the prime of life, with black beard, and with a yellow complexion and long 
fingers like his mother." 

^__ ^ 



of spiritual elevation and of sympathy, which was wholly un- 
known to classic Grecian art. Although there is in the early 
heads of Christ the form of a Greek ideal philosopher's face, 
or of a god's, the sentiment which it expresses removes it from 
the sphere of Greek ideas. 

Still less is the historic art-head of Christ of the Roman type. 
The round Roman head, the hard lines of face, the harsh energy 
of expression, form a striking contrast with the gentle, thought- 
ful, sympathetic countenance which comes down to us from the 
fourth century. As Christ spiritually' united in himself all na- 
tionalities, so in art his head has a certain universality. All 
races find in it something of their race features. The head of 
Christ, as it comes to us from the great Italian masters, is to 
art what the heart of Christ has been to the human race. 

But how unsatisfying is all art, even in its noblest achieve- 
ments, when by the presentation of a human face it undertakes 
to meet the conceptions which we have of the glory of Divinity ! 
When art sets itself to represent a Divine face in Christ, it 
aims not only at that which is intrinsically impossible, but at 
an unhistorical fact. It was not to show his royalty that Christ 
came into the world. He took upon himself the form of a man. 
He looked like a man. He lived and acted as a man. The 
very miracles which he wrought served to show, by contrast, 
the profound agreement of his general life with the great lower 
realm of nature into which he had descended. 

The attempt to kindle his face to such ethereal glow that 
it shall seem lost in light, must carry the artist away from the 
distinctive fact of the life of Jesus. He was not a man striv- 
ino- to rise to the Deity. He was God in the flesh, seeking to 
restrain his Divinity within such bounds as should identify him 
with his brethren, and keep him within the range of their per- 
sonal sympathy. 

No one view of the head of Jesus can satisfy the desires of 
a devout spectator. It is impossible for art to combine majesty 
and meekness, suffering and joy, indignation and love, sternness 
and tenderness, grief and triumph, in the same face at one time. 
Yet some special representations may come much nearer to sat- 
isfying us than others. The Christ of Michael Angelo, in his 
renowned picture of the Last Judgment, is repulsive. The head 

[&- -a 


and face of Christ by Leonardo da Vinci, in the Last Supper, 
even .in its present wasted condition, produces an impression 
upon a sensitive nature which it will never forget, nor wish 
to forget. But few of all the representations of Christ which 
have become famous in art are at all helpful, either in bringing 
us toward any adequate conception of the facts of history, or 
in giving help to our devout feelings by furnishing them an 
outward expression. The great crowd of pictorial efforts neither 
aid devotion, represent history, nor dignify art. Made without 
reverence, as professional exercises, they lower the tone of our 
thoughts and mislead our imagination. Taking all time together, 
it may well be doubted whether religion has not lost more 
than it has gained by the pictorial representation of Jesus. 
The old Hebrew example was far grander. The Hebrew taught 
men spirituality, when he forbade art to paint or to carve an 
image of the formless Deity ; and although Jesus of Nazareth 
was "God manifest in the flesh," and in so far not to be reck- 
oned rigidly as within the old Hebrew rule, yet even in this 
case art can touch only the humiliation of Divinity, and not its 

We could afford to lose the physical portraiture of Jesus, if in 
its stead we could obtain such an idea of his personal bearing 
and carriage as should place him before our eyes with that im- 
pressive individuality which he must have had in the sight of 
his contemporaries. Fortunately there are glimpses of his per- 
sonal bearing. As soon as men cease to divide the life of 
Christ, and apportion one part to the man and the other to the 
God, as soon as they accept his whole life and being in its 
unity, — God manifest in the flesh, — events become more sig- 
nificant. They are not the actions of a human soul in some 
strange connection with a Divine nature ; they are the out- 
working of the Divine nature placed in human circumstances. 
Their value, as interpreters of the Divine feelings, dispositions, 
and will, is thus manifestly augmented. 

Every system, whether of philosophy or of religion, that was 
ever propounded, before Christianity, might be received without 
any knowledge, in the disciple, of the person of its teacher. 
The Parsee and the Buddhist believe in a system more than 
in a person. What Plato taught is more important than what 

rtl . ' - ■ 


Plato himself was. One may accept all of Socrates's teaching 
without caring for Socrates himself Even Paul's development 
of Christian ideas does not require that one should accept Paul. 

Not so Christianity. Christianity is faith in Christ. The vital 
union of our souls with his was the sum of his teaching, the 
means by which our nature was to be carried up to God's ; 
and all other doctrines were auxiliary to this union, or a guide 
to the life which should spring from it. To live in him, to 
have him dwelling in us, to lose our personal identity in his, 
and to have it return to us purified and ennobled, — this is the 
very marrow of his teaching. " I in them, and thou in me, 
that they may be made perfect in one." The Apostle summa- 
rized Christianity as " Christ in yon, the hope of glory." 

The very genius of Christianity, then, requires a distinct con- 
ception, not of Christ's person, but of his personality. This may 
account for the structure of the Gospels. They are neither 
journals nor itineraries; still less are they orderly expositions 
of doctrine. The Gospels are the collective reminiscences of 
Christ by the most impressible of his disciples.^ Their memo- 
ries would retain the most characteristic transactions which took 
place during their intercourse with the Master, while mere inci- 
dental things, the prosaic and unpictorial portions of his life, 
would ftide out. We find, therefore, as might be expected, in 
all the Gospels, pictures of Christ which represent the social 
and spiritual elements of his life, rather than the corporeal. 
If these biographies be compared with the physical portraiture 
of heroes and gods which classic literature has furnished, the 
contrast will be striking. The Gospels give a portrait, not of 
attitudes or of features, but of the disposition and of the soul. 

Most men, it may be suspected, think of Jesus as one above 
the ordinary level of human existence, looking pitifully down 
upon the gay and innocent pursuits of common life, — abstract, 
ethereal, wise, and good, but living apart from men, and de- 
scending to their level only to give them rebuke or instruction. 

But we shall miss the free companionship of Christ, if we thus 
put him out of the familiar sympathies of every-day life. He 
was not a pulseless being, feeding on meditations, but a man 
in every honorable trait of manhood, and participating in the 
whole range of industries, trials, joys, sorrows, and temptations 





of human kind. During at least twenty years of his Ufe, if we 
subtract his childhood, he was a common laborer. There are 
incidental evidences that he did not attract attention to himself 
more than any other mechanic. Whatever experience hard- 
laboring men pass through, of toil poorly requited, of insignifi- 
cance in the sight of the rich and the powerful, of poverty 
with its cutting bonds and its hard limitations, Jesus had proved 
through many patient years. And when he began his ministry, 
he did not stand aloof like an ambassador from a foreign court, 
Avatching the development of citizen manners as a mere spec- 
tator. He entered into the society of his times, and was an 
integral part of it. He belonged to the nation, was reared under 
its laws and customs, partook of its liabilities, had the ardor of 
elevated patriotism, and performed all the appropriate duties of 
a citizen. John says, "He dwelt among us." 

And yet it is difficult to conceive of him as specialized, either 
to any nation or to any class or profession. He was univer- 
sal. Although he had the sanctity of the priest, he w^as more 
than priest, jjhough he had a philosopher's wisdom, he had a 
royal sympathy with all of human life, quite foreign to the 
philosophic temper. He was more than a prophet, more than 
a Jew. He touched human life on every side, though chiefly 
in its spiritual elements. He moved alike among men of every 
kind, and was at home with each. Among the poor he was 
as if poor, among the rich as if bred to wealth. Among chil- 
dren he was a familiar companion ; among doctors of theology 
an unmatched disputant. Sympathy, Versatility, and Univer- 
sality are the terms which may with justice be applied to him. 

He loved active society, and yet he was fond of solitude ; 
he loved assembhes; he loved wayside conversations with all 
sorts of men and women. To-day he roamed the highway, liv- 
ing upon the alms of loving friends, and sleeping at night where 
he chanced to find a bed ; to-morrow we shall find him at the 
feasts of rich men, both courted and feared. That he did not 
sit at the table a mere spectator of social joy is plain from the 
fact which he himself mentions, that by his participation in 
feasts he brought upon himself the reputation of being a revel- 
ler! (Matthew xi. 19.) The "beginning of miracles" at Cana 
was one which was designed to prolong the festivities of a mar- 



riage feast. There is not the record of a smgle reprehension 
of social festivity, not a severe speech, not a disapproving sen- 
tence uttered against the pursuits and enjoyments of common 
hfe. He was neither an Ascetic nor a Stoic. The feasts of 
which he partook, and which so often form the basis of his 
parables, glowed with the warmth and color of innocent enjoy- 
ment. It is plain, both that he loved to see men happy, and 
that he was himself, in his ordinary moods, both genial and 
cheerful, or he could not have glided so harmoniously from 
day to day into the domestic and business life of his country- 
men. It was only in their public relations, and upon questions 
of morality and spirituality, that he ever came into earnest 
collision with men. 

It should be noticed, also, that there was a peculiar kindness 
in his bearing which drew him close to men's persons, — the 
natural language of affection and sympathy. He touched the eyes 
of the blind ; he put his finger in the ears of the deaf; he laid 
his hands upon the sick. The incidental phrases, almost unno- 
ticed in .the Gospels, show this yearning personal familiarity 
with men : " And he could there do no mighty work, save that 
he lead his hand upon a few sick folk and healed them." ^ " Now 
when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with 
divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands 
on every one of them, and healed them." ^ " He called her to him, 
. . . . and he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was 
made straight."^ 

The whole narrative of the blind man given by Mark (viii. 
22-25) is full of this tender and nursing personal intercourse: 
'• And he cometh to Bethsaida ; and they bring a blind man 
unto him, and besought him to touch him. And he took the 
blind man bf/ the hand and led him out of the town; and when 
he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked 
him if he saw aught. And he looked up, and said, I see men 
as trees walking. After that, he put his hands ayain upon his 
eyes, and made him look up : and he was restored, and saw 
every man clearly." When the leper pleaded that he might 
be healed, " Jesus pid forth his hand, and touched him, .... and 
immediately his leprosy was cleansed." (Matthew viii. 3, 4.) 

1 Mark vi. 5. * Luke iv. 40. ^ Luke xiii. 12, 13. 



When the centurion asked him to heal his servant, expecting 
him only to send the v/ord of power to his distant couch, Jesus 
replied, "I will come and heal him." Peter's mother-in-law being 
sick, "he took her hy the hand, and immediately the fever left 
her." And so the Gospels are full of phrases that imjDly a man- 
ner of great personal familiarity. "And he came and touched 
the bier : and they that bare him stood still." " And he touched 
their eyes." "And touched his tongue." "But Jesus took him 
by the hand, and lifted him up!' 

In no other place is his loving and caressing manner more 
strikingly set forth than in the account of his reception of little 
children. "And he took them up m his arms, put his hands 
upon them, and blessed them." These are bosom words, full of 
love-pressure. And in another instance, when enforcing the 
truth of disinterestedness, it was not enough to illustrate it by 
mentioning childhood, but "he took a child, and set him in the 
midst of them : and when he had taken him in his arms, he said 
imto them. Whosoever shall receive one of such children in 
my name, receiveth me." (Mark ix. 36, 37.) 

Nor should we fail to notice the interview Avith Mary, after 
his resurrection, in the garden. "Touch me not" reveals her 
spontaneous impulse, and casts back a light upon that sacred 
household life and love which he had prized so much at Bethany. 

But we are not to suppose, because Jesus moved among the 
common people as a man among men, that he was regarded 
by his disciples or by the people as a common man. On the 
contrary, there was a mysterious a^ve, as well as a profound 
curiosity, concerning him. He was manifestly superior to all 
about him, not in stature nor in conscious authority, but in 
those qualities which indicate sj)iritual power and comprehen- 
siveness. His disciples looked upon him both Avith love and 
fear. Familiarity and awe alternated. Sometimes they treated 
him as a companion. They expostulated and complained. They 
disputed his word and rebuked him. At other times they whis- 
pered among themselves, and dared not even ask him questions. 
It is plain that Jesus had moods of lofty abstraction. There 
were hidden depths. The sublimest exhibition of this took place 
at his transfiguration on the mount, but glimpses of the same 
experience seem to have flashed forth from time to time. His 




nature was not unfluctuating. It had periods of overflow and 
of subsidence. 

But these clouded or outshining hours did not produce fear 
so much as veneration. The general effect upon his disciples 
of intimacy with him was love. Those who were capable of 
understanding him best loved him most. Jesus too was a lover, 
not alone in the sense of general benevolence, but in the habit 
of concentrated affection for particular persons. "Then Jesus, 
beholding him, loved him." " He whom thou lovest is sick." 
" Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus." " Then 
said the Jews, Behold how he loved him." Surely it was not 
for the first time at the supper following the washing of the 
disciples' feet, that it could be said of John, " He, leaning thus 
back on Jesus' breast," — for such is the force of the original, 
in the latest corrected text.^ That must be a loving and de- 
monstrative nature with which such familiarity could be even 

Mark, more than any other Evangelist, records the power 
which Christ had in his look. His eye at times seemed to 
pierce with irresistible power. Only on such a supposition can 
we account for the dismay of those sent to arrest him. The 
crowd came rushing upon him, led on by Judas. Jesus said, 
" Whom seek ye ? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. 

Jesus saith unto them, I am he As soon then as he 

had said unto them I am he, they went backward, and fell to 
the ground." 

When Peter had thrice denied him, " The Lord turned, and 
looked upon Peter." "And Peter went out and wept bitterly." 
Such cases will serve to explain instances like that of the heal- 
ing of the man with a withered hand. And he " looked round 
about on them with ans-er, beino; o-rieved for the hardness of 
their hearts." On another occasion he is thus represented : 
" Who touched me ? And he looked round about to see her that 

' The " leaning on Jesus' bosom," in the twenty-third verse (John xiii.), simply indi- 
cates that John, reclining at table according to the custom prevalent since the captivity, 
came next below Jesus, and his head would therefoi'e come near to his Master's breast. 
But in the twenty-fifth verse a different action is indicated. The language implies, that, 
in asking the question about the betrayal, he leaned back so as to rest his head upon 
his Lord's bosom. The reading " leaning hack on Jesus' breast," instead of " He then 
lying on Jesus' breast," is approved by Tischendorf, Green, Alford, and Tregelles. 


#- -ft 


had done this thing. But the woman, fearing and trembhng, 
.... came and fell down before him." 

It is plain, from a comparison of passages, that his gentle and 
attractive manners, which made him accessible to the poor, the 
outcast, and the despised, were accompanied by an imperial 
manner which none ever presumed upon. Indeed, we have inci- 
dental mention of the awe which he inspired, even in those 
who had the right to intimate familiarity. "And none of the 
disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was 
the Lord." All three of the synoptical Gospels mention the 
effect produced by his bearing and by his answers to vexatious 
questions. "And after that, they durst not ask him any ques- 
tion at all." 

Mark mentions a very striking incident in a manner so mod- 
est that its significance is likely to escape us. "And they were 
in the way, going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before 
them ; and they were amazed ; and as they followed, they were 
afraid. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them 
what things should happen unto him." (Mark x. 32.) It seems 
that he was so absorbed in the contemplation of those great 
events which already overhung him, and toward which he was 
quickening his steps, that he got before them and walked alone. 
As they looked upon him, a change came over his person. 
Once before, on the mountain, some of them had been bewil- 
dered by his changed look. Yet it was not now an effulgent 
light, but rather sternness and grandeur, as if his soul by antici- 
pation was in conflict with the powers of darkness, and his 
whole figure lifted up as in the act of " despising the shame " of 
the near and ignominious trial. 

Our Lord's great power as a speaker depended essentially 
upon the profound truths which he uttered, upon the singular 
skill with which they were adapted to the peculiar circumstances 
which called them forth, and to the faculty which he had of 
uttering in simple and vernacular phrase the most abstruse ideas. 
But there was besides all this a singular impressiveness of man- 
ner which it is probable was never surpassed. His attitude, the 
extraordinary influence of his eye, his very silence, were ele- 
ments of power of which the Evangelists do not leave us in 

^ _^ 



There is in Mark's account (x. 23) a use of words that indi- 
cates a peculiar, long, and penetrating action of the eye, — a 
linsrerino; deliberation. "And Jesus looked round cd)out, and saith 
unto his discijDles, How hardly shall they that have riches enter 
into the kingdom of God!" When the disciples, amazed Avith 
the impressiveness of his word and action, asked, "Who, then, 
can be saved?" he apparently did not reply instantly, but, with 
the same long gaze, his eye spoke in advance of his tongue. 
" Jesus, looldug upon iJiem, saith. With men it is impossible, but 
not with God." In the account given by Mark (viii. 33) one 
can see how large an element of impressiveness was derived 
from Christ's manner and expression, before he spoke a word. 
" But when he had turned about, and looked on his discij)les, 
he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan ! " 

There were times when Jesus did not employ words at all. 
Most impressive effects were derived from his manner alone. 
"And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple; and 
when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the 
even-tide was come, he went out unto Bethany." This scene 
would not have lingered in the mind of the spectators, and 
been recorded in the Gospel, if his air and manner had not 
been exceedingly striking. It was a picture that could not 
fade from the memory of those who had seen it, yet it was a 
scene of perfect silence ! 

There is a poor kind of dignity, that never allows itself to 
be excited, that is guarded against all surprises, that restrains 
the expression of sudden interest, that holds on its cold and 
careful way as if superior to the evanescent moods of common 
men. Such was not Christ's dignity. No one seemed more a 
man among men in all the inflections of human moods than 
did Jesus. With the utmost simplicity he suffered the events 
of life to throw their lights and shadows upon his soul. He 
Avas " grieved," he Avas " angry," he was "' surprised," he " mar- 
veUed." In short, his soul moved through all the moods of 
human experience ; and Avhile he rose to sublime connnunion 
with God, he Avas also a man among men; Avhile he rebuked 
self-indulgence and frivolity, he cheerfully partook of innocent 
enjoyments; Avhile he denounced the insincerity or burdensome 
teachings of the Pharisees, he did not separate himself from 



their society or from their social hfe, but even accepted their 
hospitahty, and his dinner discourses contain some of his most 
pungent teachings. 

We have purposely omitted those views of Christ which, 
through the unfolding process of his life and teaching, devel- 
oped at length, in the Apostles' minds, to the full and clear rev- 
elation of Divinity. We have sketched him as he must have 
appeared during his ministry, when men were gazing upon him 
in wonder, thinking that he was " that prophet," or '• EHjah," or 
that Messiah ''that should come." 

We must not, then, take with us, in following out the life 
of Jesus, the conception of a formidable being, terrible in holi- 
ness. We must clothe him in our imagination with traits that 
made little children run to him; that made mothers long to 
have him touch their babes ; that won to him the poor and suf- 
fering ; that made the rich and influential throw wide open the 
doors of their houses to him ; that brought around him a com- 
pany of noble w^omen, who travelled with him, attended to his 
wants, and supplied his necessities from their own wealth; that 
irresistibly attracted those other w^omen, in wdiom vice had not 
yet destroyed all longing for a better life ; that excited among 
the learned a vehement curiosity of disputation, while the unlet- 
tered declared that he spake as one having authority. He was 
the great Master of nature, observing its laws, laying all his 
plans in consonance with the fixed order of things even in his 
miracles ; seeming to violate nature, only because he knew that 
nature is not only and alone that small circle which touches 
and includes physical matter, but a larger province, enclosing 
the great spiritual world, including God himself therein. 


a- ^ 



" rpHINK not that I am come to destroy the law, or the 
X prophets : I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil." Jesus 
would reform the world, not by destroying, but by developing 
the germs of truth already existing. He accepted whatever 
truth and goodness had ripened through thousands of years. 
He would join his own work to that already accomplished, 
brino-ing to view the yet higher truths of the spiritual realm. 
But the design of all his teaching, whether of morality or of 
spirituality, was to open the human spirit to the direct influ- 
ence of the Divine nature. Out of such a union would proceed 
by spiritual laws and tendencies all that man needs. 

Th^ reconciliation of the human soul with the Divine is also 
the harmonization of the two great spheres, the material and 
the spu-itual. Men will then be no longer under the exclusive 
dominion of natural law in the plane of matter. They will 
come under the influence of another and a higher form of nat- 
ural law, that of the spirit. Nature is not confined to matter. 
To us it begins there ; but nature includes the earth and the 
heaven, the visible and the invisible, all matter and all spirit. 
That portion of natural law which regulates physical things is 
nearest to our knowledge, but is not the typical or universal. 
As seen from above, doubtless, it is the lowest form of law. 
Nature is the universe. Nature as men's physical senses dis- 
cern it is poor and meagre compared with its expansion in the 
invisible realm where God dwelleth. Natural laws run through 
God's dominion in harmonious subordination, those of the spir- 
itual world having pre-eminence and control. 

We discern in Jesus the demeanor of one who was conscious 
of the universe, and who knew that this earthly globe is but 
its least part, — normal, indeed, and serviceable; but subject, 


^ . ^ 


auxiliary, and subordinate to higher elements. He acted as 
one who recognized the uses of this life, but who by a heavenly 
experience knew its vast relative inferiority. By no word did 
Jesus undervalue civil laws, governments, the industries of men, 
and their accumulated wealth ; 3^et not a syllable of instruction 
did he let fall on these topics, nor did he employ them to any 
considerable degree in his ministry. To us, husbandry, naviga- 
tion, the perfection of mechanic arts, and the discovery of new 
forces or the invention of new combinations, seem of transcen- 
dent importance. Men have asked whether he who threw no 
light upon physiology, who made known no laws of health and 
no antidotes or remedies for wasting sicknesses, who left the 
world as poor in economic resources as he found it, could be 
Divine. But to one cognizant of the spiritual universe all these 
things w^ould seem initial, subordinate, and inferior; while the 
truths of the soul and of the spirit, the science of holiness, 
would take precedence of all secular wealth and wisdom. 

Physical elements might be safely left to unfold through that 
natural law of development which is carrying the w^orld steadily 
forward ; but " the spirit is weak." To bring the soul of man 
into the presence of God, to open his heart to the Divine in- 
fluence, was a need far greater than that of any sensuous help. 
We shall find that Jesus differed from ordinary men, not by 
living above natural laws, but by living in a larger sphere of 
natural laws. He harmonized in his life the laws of spirit and 
of matter. In all that pertained to earthly life, he lived just 
as men live. In that which pertained to the spirit, he lived 
with the air and manner of one who came from heaven. In 
his miracles he but exhibited the supremacy of the higher over 
the lower, of the spiritual over the material. A miracle is not 
the setting aside of a law of nature, it is but the exhibition of 
the supremacy of a higher law of nature in a sphere where 
men have been accustomed to see the operation of the lower 
natural laws alone. No man is surprised at the obedience of 
matter to his own will. Our control of our bodies, and, gen- 
erally, of the organized matter of the globe, increases in the 
ratio of the growth of our mental strength. Jesus declared that, 
if the soul were opened up to the Divine presence, this j^ower 
would be greatly augmented ; that man's higher spiritual ele- 





raents had a natural authority over the physical conditions of 
this world ; and that faith, prayer, divine communion, in a fer- 
vent state, would enable his followers to perform the miracles 
that he himself performed. It was this latent power of man's 
spiritual nature that Christ sought to develop. He strove to 
lift men one sphere higher, and, without taking them away 
from the senses, to break open, as it were, and reveal a realm 
where the spirit would dominate matter, as in this world matter 
governs the spirit. 

It is this supremacy of the sjDiritual over the physical in the 
great order of a universe-nature, rather than of the earth-nature, 
that must be borne in mind, both in Christ's own conduct and 
in his discourses and his promises to those who truly entered his 
kingdom ; and that is the rational explanation also of the ex- 
traordinary phenomena which accompanied the Apostle's preach- 
ing. (1 Cor. xii. 4-30.) 

Christ was a Jew, and did not refuse to love his country, 
nor was he without enthusiasm for the historic elements wrought 
out so nobly by the great men of the Hebrew nation. And 
yet no one can fail to perceive that above all these patriotic 
enthusiasms, and fir beyond them, he bore a nature which allied 
him to universal man without regard to race or period, and that 
his being reached higher than that of common humanity, and 
brooded in the mysterious realms of the spirit land, beyond all 
human sight or knowledge. 

We may presume, therefore, that in his ministry there will 
be found a close adhesion to nature ; that as the Son of Man 
he will follow the methods of ordinary physical nature, while 
as the Son of God he will conform to the laws of spiritual 
nature. And it may be presupposed that, to those not in- 
structed, one part of such observance of natural law may seem 
to conflict with another part, whereas both are alike conform- 
able to nature, if by nature is meant God's universe. 

When Jesus began his mission in Palestine, it swarmed with 
a population so mixed with foreign elements that it might 
almost be said to represent every people of the then civilized 
world. No great war seemed able to leave Palestine untouched ; 
whether it was Egypt, or Assyria, or Greece, or Rome that 



was at war, Palestine was sure to be swe^jt by the inundation. 
Every retiring wave, too, left behind it a sediment. The phys- 
ical conformation of the country made the northern part of 
Palestine a commercial thoroughflxre for Eastern and Western 
nations, while Judaea, lying off from the grand routes, and not 
favorably situated for commerce, was less traversed by mer- 
chants, adventurers, or emigrant hordes. And so it happened 
that Galilee and Samaria were largely adulterated, while Judcea 
maintained the old Jewish stock with but little foreign mixture. 
The Judiean Jews were proud of this superiority. They 
looked upon Galilee as half given over to barbarism. It was 
styled "Galilee of the Gentiles," since thither had drifted a 
mixed population in which almost every nation had some rep- 
resentatives. No one would suspect from the dreary and impov- 
erished condition of Palestine to-day how populous it was in 
the time of Christ. The ruins of villages, towns, and cities, 
which abound both on the east and the west of the Jordan, 
confirm the explicit testimony of Josephus to the extraordinary 
populousness of Palestine during our Lord's life and ministry. 
Samaria, the great middle section of Palestine, besides its large 
infusion of foreigners, had an adulterated home population. It 
was on this account that the puritan Jews of Jerusalem and 
Juda?a abhorred the Samaritans, and refused to have any deal- 
ings with them. 

Galilee, the most populous section,^ was also the most inter- 
mixed with pagan elements. The Roman armies, made up 
largely of Italian officers, but of soldiers drawn from conquered 
Oriental nations, brought to all the large towns, and left in them, 
a detritus of the outside world. Already the Greek, a universal 
rover, the merchant of that age as the Jew has been the trader 
of subsequent ages, was largely spread through the province. 
Syria and Phoenicia also contributed of their people. Thus, in 
every part of Palestine, north and south, a foreign population 
swarmed around the Jewish stock without changing it, and 
without being itself much changed. 

^ The inequality of condition which separated the various classes 
of Jews was unfavorable to prosperity. While the northern 
province was given to commerce, the great plain of Esdraelon 

' The pojiulation of Galilee was about three luillions. 




serving as a roadway between the shores of the Mediterranean 
and the great Syrian interior and the countries skirting the 
Lower Jordan and the Dead Sea, yet the bulk of the jDOjDula- 
tion depended for a precarious subsistence upon agriculture and 
the humbler forms of mechanic art. That affecting petition in 
the Lord's Prayer, " Give us this day our daily bread," is an his- 
toric disclosure of local want, as well as an element of universal 
devotion. It is the prayer prescribed for men to whom it was 
said, "Take no [anxious] thought what ye shall eat, what ye 
shall drink, or wherewithal ye shall be clothed." But com- 
merce had made a portion of the people rich. Extortion had 
swollen the affluence of others. The greatest injustice prevailed. 
Small protection was given to the weak. The Jews were a 
subject race, but not subdued. Little able to govern them- 
selves, they were still less fitted to be governed by another 
nation. Their religious training had built up in them a charac- 
ter of great strength. They were proud, fierce, and careless of 
life to an extraordinary degree, whether it w^is their own life or 
that of others. 

Political subjection was peculiarly irksome, because, as they 
interpreted their prophets, the Jews w^ere God's favored people. 
They believed that the family of David, now obscure and dis- 
honored, was yet to hold the sceptre of universal monarchy. 
They had not only a right to be free, but God had specially 
promised that they should rule all other nations, if only they 
kept his statutes. To keep his commandments was their one 
excessive anxiety. They scrutinized every particular, added 
duty to duty, multijDlied and magnified particulars, lest some- 
thing should be omitted. They gloried in the Law, and de- 
voted themselves to it night and day with engrossing assiduity. 
Where, then, was their reward ? Why was not the Divine prom- 
ise kept? Instead of governing others, they were themselves 
overwhelmed, subdued, oppressed. Was tliis the reward for 
their unexampled fidelity? The Pharisee had kept his blood 
pure from all taint; not a drop of foreign blood polluted the 
veins of the Hebrew of the Hebrew^s. When Hellenism threat- 
ened with self-indulgent philosophy to destroy the faith of their 
fathers, the Pharisees had resisted, overwhelmed, and driven it 
out. Jo&ephus, himself a Pharisee, says of them : " In their own 




idea they are the flower of the nation and the most accurate 
observers of the Law."- And yet how had God neglected them ! 
His conduct was inexpUcable and sadly mysterious. It was not 
in their power to keep their soil, nor even the holy Temple, 
from the hated intrusion of the idolater's foot. Their priesthood 
had been converted to the uses of the detestable Eomans. The 
high-priest, once venerated, had become the creature of Idumaian 
Herod. For many hundreds of years before Herod's reign the 
Jews had seen but one high-priest deposed. But from the con- 
quest of Jerusalem by Herod to its destruction under Titus, a 
period of one hundred and eight years, twenty-eight high-priests 
had been nominated, making an average term of but four years 
to each. Rulers were filled with worldly ambition, and scribes 
and priests were continually intriguing and quarrelling among 
themselves. Only so much of the distinctive Jewish economy 
was left free as could be controlled by unscrupulous politicians 
for the furtherance of their own selfish ends. Pride and avarice 
were genuine ; benevolence and devotion were simulated or 
openly disowned. 

It will be well to consider w^ith some particularity the three 
forms of religious development w^hich existed in the time of our 
Lord, — Ritualism, Rationalism, and Asceticism, — as represented 
respectively by the Pharisee, the Sadducee, and the Essene ; and 
it will be especially necessary to be acquainted with the Phari- 
sees, who were our Lord's chief and constant antagonists, whose 
habits furnished continual themes for his discourses, and Avhose 
malign activity at length was the chief cause of his death. 

In no such sense as that term conveys to us were the Phari- 
sees an organized sect.^ They represented a tendency, and 

^ " It is the custom to contrast the Pharisees with the Saddueees, as if they were two 
opposite sects existing in the midst of tlie Jewish nation and separated from the body 
of tlie Jews. But neither the Saddueees nor the Pliarisees were sects in the common 
acceptation of the word, least of all the latter. Taken at bottom, the nation was for the 
most part Pharisaically minded ; in other words, the Pharisees were only the more im- 
portant and religiously inclined men of the nation, who gave the most decided expres- 
sion to the prevailing belief, and strove to establish and enfoi-ce it by a definite system of 
teaching and interpretation of the sacred books. All the priests who were not mere 
blunt, senseless instruments clung to the Pharisaical belief All the Sephorim, or Scribes, 
were at the same time Pharisees ; and where they are spoken of side by side as two 
different classes, by the latter (Pharisees) must be understood those who, without, belong- 
ing by calling or position to the body of the learned, were yet zealous in setting forth its 


a— ^ -ft 


answered nearly to our phrase of " High Chiircli " among the 
Episcopalians, by which we do not mean a separate organization 
within that sect, but only a mode or direction of thought and 

In their origin and early functions the Pharisees deserved 
well of their countrymen, and not so ill of posterity as it has 
fared with them. When the Jews were carried to Babylon, so 
dependent had they always been upon the Temple and the or- 
ganized priesthood, that, m the absence^ of these, their chief 
relio-ious supports fell to the ground. The people, left with- 
out teachers, exiled, surrounded by idolatrous practices which 
tempted the passions of men with peculiar fascination, were 
likely to forget the worship of their fathers, and not only to 
lapse into idolatry, but by intermarriages to be absorbed and to 
lose their very nationality. It was therefore a generous and 
patriotic impulse which inspired many of the more earnestly 
relio-ious Jews to separate themselves from all foreign influences, 
and to keep alive the Jewish spirit among their poor, oppressed 
countrymen. The name Pharisee, in the Hebrew, signifies one 
tvho is separated. When first applied, it meant a Jew who, accord- 
ing to the Levitical Law, in captivity kept himself scrupulously 
separate from all defilements. Unfortunately, the Pharisee 
sought worthy ends by an almost purely external course. In 
this respect he is in contrast with the English Puritan of the 
sixteenth century. Both of them were intensely patriotic ; both 
set themselves vigorously against the seductive refinements and 
artful blandishments of their times. The English Puritan, with 
a clear perception of moral truth, and with utter faith in the 
power of inward and spiritual dispositions, was inclined to sac- 
rifice forms, ceremonies, and symbols, as helps liable too easily 
to become hindrances, fixing the senses upon an externality, and 
leading men away from simple spiritual truth. But the early 
Jewish Puritan had nothing to work with except the old Mosaic 
Law. He sought to put that between his countrymen and idol- 
atry. By inciting them to reverence and to pride in their own 
Law he saved them from apostasy, and kept alive in their ]nem- 

principles, teachings, and practices, and surpassed others in the example thej' gave of 
the most exact observance of the law," — DoUinger's The Gentile and the Jew, (London, 
1862,) Vol. II. pp. 304, 305. 

id-* ^ 

0-^ -g] 


ories the histor}" of their fathers and the love for their native 
land. And so far the labor of the Pharisee deserved praise. 
But the Levitical Law required, in the great change of circum- 
stances induced by the Captivity, a re-adaptation, and, as new 
exigencies arose, new interpretations. Gradually the Pharisees 
became expounders of the Law. They grew minute, technical, 
literal. They sought for religion neither in the immediate inspi- 
ration of God nor in nature, but in the books of Moses and of 
the Prophets. They were zealous for tradition and ceremony. 
The old landmarks were sacred to them. Yet they overlaid the 
simplicity of the ancient Hebrew faith with an enormous mass 
of pedantic, pragmatical details, that smothered the heart and 
tormented the conscience of the devotee. Their moral sense 
was drilled upon mere conventional qualities. It had no intui- 
tion and no liberty. It became the slave of the senses. 

Little by little the work grew- upon their hands. Cases 
multiplied. Nice distinctions, exceptions, divisions, and subdi- 
visions increased with an enormous fecundity. The commentarv 
smothered the text. The interpreters were in thorough earnest ; 
but their conscience ran to leaf and not to fruit. That befell 
the Pharisees which sooner or later befalls all ritualists, — they 
fell into the idolatry of symlDolism. The symbol erelong ab- 
sorbs into itself the idea which it was sent to convey. The 
artificial sign grows fairer to the senses than is the truth to 
the soul. Like manna, symbols must be gathered fresh every 
day. The Pharisee could not resist the inevitable tendency. 
He heaped upon life such a mass of helps and guides, such an 
endless profusion of minute duties, that no sensitive conscience 
could endure the thrall. One class of minds went into torment 
and bondage, of which Paul gives an inimitable picture in the 
seventh chapter of the Epistle to the Romans. Another class, 
harder and more self-confident, conceived themselves obedient to 
the whole round of duty, and became conceited and vainglorious. 

The Pharisees were sincere, but sincere in a way that must 
destroy tenderness, devoutness, and benevolence, and that must 
minister to conceit, hardness of heart, and intolerant arrogance. 
No religion can be true, and no worship can be useful, that does 
not educate the understanding, kindle the aspirations, give to 
the spiritual part a mastery over the senses, and make man 

a- ^ 


stronger, nobler, freer, and purer than it found him. Religion 
proves its divinity by augmenting the power and contents of 
manhood. If it destroys strength under the pretence of regu- 
lation, it becomes a superstition and a tyranny. 

The Pharisees had not escaped the influence of the prevalent 
philosophies. Although they were working away from the Hel- 
lenistic influence, they were indirectly moulded by it. It was 
essentially in the refining spirit of Greek philosophy that they 
interpreted the old Hebrew statutes. Not that they desired 
them to be less Jewish. They sought to make them more in- 
tensely national. The Greek spirit wrought in the Jew to make 
him more intensely Jewish. 

But Grecian influence had raised up another school, that of 
the Sadducees. They were the Epicureans of Judsea. It is 
probable that, unlike the Pharisees, the Sadducees recognized 
the Grecian philosophy, and- applied it to the interpretation of 
the Mosaic statutes. They accepted the chief doctrine of the 
Epicurean philosophy. They admitted the agency of God in 
creation. They taught that things had a nature of their own, 
and that, after being once created and set going, they had need 
of no Divine interference in the way of providential govern- 
ment. Every man had his fate in his own hands. Having or- 
ganized the system of nature, God withdrew himself, leaving 
men to their own absolute freedom. Man was his own master. 
He was the author of his own good and of his own evil, and 
both the good and the evil they believed to be confined to 
this life. Death ended the history. There Avas to be no new 
life, no resurrection. 

We are not to suppose that the Sadducees abandoned the 
Jewish Scriptures for any form of Grecian philosophy. They 
rejected all the modern interpretations and additions of the old 
Hebrew institutes. They professed to hold to the literal con- 
struction and interpretation of the sacred Scriptures. They re- 
jected all tenets that were not. found in Moses and the prophets. 
This principle forced them to assume a negative philosophy. 
They stuck to the letter of the Law, that they might shake 
off" the vast accumulations which it had received at the hands 
of the Pharisees. But in doing this they rendered themselves 
infidel to the deepest moral convictions of their age. The spirit 

^ ^ ^ ^ 


of denial is essentially infidel. Belief is indispensable to moral 
health, even if the tenets believed be artificial. There is no 
reason to think that the Sadducees had a deep religious life, or 
any positive convictions which redeemed them from the danger at- 
tending a system of negation. They were a priestly class, scep- 
tical of the truths which the best men of their age cherished. 

Thus, while they were strict in their construction of the text, 
they were liberal in doctrine. It was through literalism that 
they sought liberalism. If their refusal of the Pharisaic tradi- 
tions and glosses had been for the sake of introducing a larger 
spiritual element, they would have deserved better of their coun- 
trymen. As it was, they were not popular. They were not 
the leaders of the masses, nor the representatives of the popu- 
lar belief, nor in sympathy with the common people. We can 
hardly regard them in any other light than that of self-indul- 
gent and ambitious men, using the national religion rather as a 
defence against the charge of want of patriotism than from any 
moral convictions. In short, they were thoroughly worldly, 
selfish, and unlovely. 

Although the name " Essene " does not occur in the New Tes- 
tament, yet the sect existed in the time of Christ, and probably 
exercised a considerable influence ujDon the thought of many 
devout Jews. The Essenes observed the law of Moses with a 
rigor surpassing that of any of their countrymen. They, how- 
ever, rejected animal sacrifices. There seems to have been 
among them an element of worship derived from the Persians. 
They addressed petitions each morning to the sun. They felt 
bound to refrain in word or act from anything which could 
profane that luminary. They kept the Sabbath even more 
rigorously than the Pharisees. They prepared all their food 
the day before. Not only would they kindle no fires on the 
Sabbath, but they would suffer no vessel to be moved from its 
place, nor would they satisfy on that day any of their natural 
and necessary desires. They lived in communities, very much 
apart from general society ; but this does not seem to have 
arisen so much from an ascetic spirit as from the excessively 
restrictive notions which they cherished on the matter of legal 
purity. To the contaminations established by the Mosaic code, 
and all the additional ceremonial unpurities which the ritual 

rtl ■ ■ ^ 



zeal of the Pharisee rendered imminent, they added others even 
more severe. To touch any one not of his own order defiled an 
Essene. Even an Essene, if of a lower grade, could not be 
touched without defilement. Such particularity could scarcely 
Ml to work social seclusion. Their meals were strictly sacrifi- 
cial^ and looked upon as religious actions. Every one washed 
his whole body before eating, and put on a clean linen gar- 
ment, which was laid aside at the end of the meal. The baker 
and the cook placed before each his mess, and the priest then 
blessed the food, before which none dared to taste a morsel. 

They held their property in common ; so that the temporary 
community of goods by the Christians, after the Pentecostal day, 
was not a new or uncommon act among the Jews. Marriage 
was forbidden. No buying or selling was permitted among 
themselves. They disallowed both slavery and war, neither 
would they suffer any of their sect to forge warlike arms for 
others. They were under the strictest subordination to their 
own superiors, and implicit obedience was a prime virtue. They 
maintained perfect silence in their assemblies and during their 
repasts. Only adults were taken into the brotherhood, and these 
were required to undergo a probation of a year, and they then 
entered but the lowest grade. Two years more were required 
for full membership. The Essenes abhorred pleasure. They 
Avere temperate in all things, — in food, in the indulgence of 
their passions, and in enjoyments of every kind. In many 
respects they seem to have resembled the modern Shakers. 

The Sadducees, being a j^riestly and aristocratic class, were not 
disposed to take any office which would impose trouble or care, 
and looked with indifterence or contempt upon the greater part 
of that which passed for religion among the jDCople. The-Essenes 
were small in numbers, their habits of life were secluded, and 
they do not seem to have made any efibrt at influencing the 
mind of the people at large. Only the Pharisees took jDains to 
instruct the people. And we shall not understand the atmos- 
phere wdiich surrounded our Lord, if we do not take into consid- 
eration the kind of teaching given by them, and the national 
feeling which it had produced. 

We are not to undervalue the real excellence of the Mosaic 
institutes on account of the burdensome and frivolous additions 


a- ^ 


made to them during a long series of interpretations and com- 
mentaries. The institutes of Moses inculcated a sound morality, 
a kind and benevolent spirit, obedience to God, and reverence 
for divine things. But as it was interpreted by the Pharisees it 
disproportionately directed the attention to external acts. The 
state of the heart was not wholly neglected. Many excellent 
distinctions were drawn, and wise maxims were given respecting 
purity of thought and rectitude of motive. But the influence 
of a system depends, not upon few or many truths scattered 
up and down in it, but upon the accent and emphasis which 
is given to its different j)ai'ts. Paul bears witness that his 
countrymen had a " zeal of God, but not according to knowl- 
edge." Like men in a wrong road, the longer they toiled the 
farther they were from the end sought. Yet they did not 
regard themselves as in the wrong. God had given them the 
Law. The most signal promises followed obedience to that Law. 
They should overcome all their enemies. They should become 
the governors of those who now oppressed them. Therefore to 
that obedience they addressed themselves with all their zeal and 
conscience. Lest they should fail unwittingly, it was a maxim 
with them that they should do even more than the Law required. 
And such was the scrupulosity of the Pharisee, that he came to 
feel that he did perfectly keep the Law, and therefore waited im- 
j)atiently for the fulfilment of the Divine promises. It was a 
distinct bargain. They were all looking and waiting for the Mes- 
siah. When he should come, he would give to the nation the 
lono;-needed leader. All would unite in him. He would march 
at the head of the whole population to expel the Romans, to 
redeem Jerusalem, to purify the Temple, to extend the sway of 
the Jewish religion. They brooded over these joyful prosf>ects. 
Thus, they had their tests of Messiahship. He must hate idol- 
aters. He must have the gift of leadership. He must repre- 
sent the intensest spirit of Jewish patriotism. He must aim to 
make Israel the head and benefactor of all the nations on earth. 
It is plain that Jesus could not meet such expectations. He 
must have known from the beginning what reception his coun- 
trymen would give him, should he at once announce himself as 
the Messiah ; and this will explain his silence, or the guarded 
private utterance, in the beginning, as to his nature and claims. 

cy ^ 

0- '■ ^ 


Unfavorable as was the religious aspect, the political condition 
of Palestine was even worse. The nation was in the stage pre- 
ceding dissolution, ■ — subdued by the Romans, farmed out to 
court favorites, governed by them with remorseless cruelty and 
avarice. The fiery and fanatical patriotism of the Jew was con- 
tinually bursting out into bloody insurrection. Without great 
leaders, without any consistent and wise plan of operations, these 
frequent and convulsive spasms of misery were instantly re- 
pressed by the Romans with incredible slaughter. 

Even if it had been a part of the design of Jesus to rescue 
the Jewish nation and perpetuate it, he came too late. These 
frequent convulsions were the ex^Diring struggles of a doomed 
people. Already the prophecies hung low over the city. Death 
was in the very air. The renniaut of the people was to be 
scattered up and down in the earth, as the wind chases autumnal 
leaves. Jesus stood alone. He was apparently but a peasant 
mechanic. That which was dearest to his heart men cared noth- 
ing for ; that which all men were eagerly pursuing was nothing 
to him. He had no party, he could conciliate no interest. The 
serpent of hatred was coiled and waiting ; and, though it delayed 
to strike, the fang was there, ready and venomous, as soon as 
his foot should tread upon it. The rich were luxurious and self- 
indulgent. The learned were not wise ; they were vain of an 
immense acquisition of infinitesimal fribbles. The ignorant peo- 
ple were besotted, the educated class was corrupt, the govern- 
ment was foreign, the Temple was in the hands of factious 
priests playing a game of worldly ambition. Who Avas on his 
side ? At what point should he begin his mission, and how ? 
Should he stand in Jerusalem and preach? Should he enter 
the Temple, and announce to the grand council his true char- 
acter ? 

It was not the purpose of Jesus to present himself to the 
nation with sudden or dramatic outburst. There was to be a 
gradual unfolding of his claims, of the truth, and of his whole 
nature. In this respect he conformed to the law of that world 
in which he was infixed, and of that race with whose nature 
and condition he had identified himself. We shall find him, in 
the beginning, joining his ministry on to that of John : we shall 

cfr^- ^ 


next see him taking up the rehgious truths of the Old Testa- 
ment which were common to him and to the people, but cleansino- 
them of their grosser interpretations, and giving to them a 
spiritual meaning not before suspected : then Ave shall find a 
silent change of manner, the language and the bearing of one 
who knows himself to be Divine : and finally, toward the close 
of his work, we shall see the full disclosure of the truth, his 
equality with the Father, his sacrificial relations to the Jews and 
to all the world ; and in connection with this last fact we shall 
hear the annunciation of that truth most repugnant to a Jew, a 
suffering Messiah. 

Not only shall we find this law of progressive development 
exemplified in a general way, but we shall see it in each minor 
element. His OAvn nature and claims, implied rather than as- 
serted at first, he taught with an increasing emphasis and fulness 
of disclosure to the end of his ministry. His doctrine of spir- 
itual life, as unfolded in the private discourses with his disciples 
just before his Passion, and recorded in the five chapters begin- 
ning with the twelfth of John's Gospel, are remarkable, not 
alone for their spiritual depth and fervor, but as showing how 
far his teachings had by that time gone beyond the Sermon on 
the Mount. The earlier and later teachings are in contrast, not 
in respect to relative perfection, but in the order of develop- 
ment. Both are perfect, but one as a germ and the other as 
its blossom. Jesus observed in all his ministry that law of 
growth which he affirmed in respect to the kingdom of Heaven. 
It is a seed, said he, the smallest of all seeds when sown, but 
when it is grown it is a tree. At another time he distinguished 
the very stages of growth : " First the blade, then the ear, 
after that the full corn in the ear." (Mark iv. 28.) 

We are then to look for this unfolding process in the teach- 
ings of Jesus. We shall find him gathering up the threads of 
morality, already partly woven into the moral consciousness of 
his time ; we shall see how in his hands morality assumed a 
higher type, and was made to spring from nobler motives. Then 
we shall find the intimations of an interior and spiritual life 
expanding and filling a larger sphere of thought, until in the 
full radiance of his later teachings it dazzles the eyes of his 
disciples and transcends their spiritual capacity. 

t- ^ 



In like manner the divinity of Christ's own nature and office 
was not made prominent at first; but gradually it grew into 
notice, until during the last half-year it assumed the air of sov- 
ereignty. In nothing is this so strikingly shown as in the 
teaching of his own personal relations to all true spiritual life 
in every individual. It is sublime when God declares himself 
to be the fountain of life. It would be insufferable arrogance 
in a mere man. But by every form of assertion, with incessant 
repetition, Jesus taught with growing intensity as his death 
drew near, that in him, and only in him, were the sources of 
spiritual life. " Come unto me," " Learn of me," " Abide in 
me," " Without me ye can do nothing." And yet, in the midst 
of such incessant assertions of himself, he declared, and all the 
world has conceded it, '' I am meek and lowly in heart." 

There was a corresponding development in his criticism of 
the prevailing religious life, and in the attacks which he made 
upon the ruling classes. His miracles, too, assumed a higher 
type from period to period ; and, although we cannot draw a 
line at the joi'ecise periods of transition, yet no one can fail to 
mark how much deeper was the moral significance of the mira- 
cles wrought in the last few months of his life, than that of 
those in the opening of his career. We are not to look, then, 
for a ministry blazing forth at the beginning in its full efful- 
gence. We are to see Jesus, without signals or ostentation, 
taking up John's teaching, and beginning to preach, " Repent, 
for the kingdom of heaven is at hand " ; we are to Avait for fur- 
ther disclosures issuing naturally and gradually, in an ascending 
series. The whole life of Jesus was a true and normal growth. 
His ministry did not come like an orb, round and shining, per- 
fect and full, at the first : it was a regular and symmetrical 

True, it differed from all other and ordinary human growths, 
in that no part of his teaching was false or crude. It was 
partial, but never erroneous. The first enunciations were as 
absolutely true as the last ; but he unfolded rudimentary truths 
in an order and in forms suitable for their propagation upon 
the human understanding. 

It is in these views that we shall find a solution of the seem- 
ing want of plan in the life of Jesus. There is no element in 


a- ^ -ft 


it which answers to our ordinary idea of a prearranged cam- 
paign. He knew that lie was a sower of seed, and not the 
reaper. It was of more importance that he shoukl produce a 
powerful spiritnal impression, than that he should give an or- 
ganized form to his folloAvers. It was better that he should 
develop the germs of a Divine spiritual life, than that he should 
work any immediate change in the forms of society. 

The Mosaic institutes had aimed at a spiritual life in man 
by building up around him restraining influences, acting thus 
upon the soul from the outside. Jesus transferred the seat of 
action to the soul itself, and rendered it capable of self-control. 
Others had sought to overcome and put down the appetites and 
passions ; Jesus, by developing new forces in the soul and giving 
Divine excitement to the spiritual nature, regulated the passions 
and harmonized them with the moral ends of life. When once 
the soul derived its highest stimulus from God, it might safely 
be trusted to develop all its lower forces, which, by subordina- 
tion, became auxiliary. Jesus sought to develop a whole and 
perfect manhood, nothing lost, nothing in excess. He neither 
repelled nor undervalued secular thrift, social morality, civil 
order, nor the fruits of an intellectual and aesthetic culture ; he 
did not labor directly for these, but struck farther back at a 
potential but as yet undisclosed nature in man, which if aroused 
and brought into a normal and vital relation with the Divine soul 
would give to all the earlier developed and lower elements of 
man's nature a more complete control than had ever before 
been found, and would so fertilize and fructify the whole nature 
that the outward life would have no need of special patterns. 
Children act from rules. Men act from principles. A time will 
come when they will act from intuitions, and right and wrong 
in the familiar matters of life w^ll be determined by the agree- 
ment or disagreement of things with the moral sensibility, as 
music and beauty in art already are first felt, and afterwards 
reasoned upon and analyzed. 

If this be a true rendering of Christ's method, it will be 
apparent that all theories which imply that any outward forms 
of societ}^, or special elements of art and industry, or the organ- 
ization of a church, or the purification of the household, or any 
other special and determinate external act or order of events 

^-. ^ 


or institutions, were parts of his plan, will fliil in appreciating 
tlie one grand distinctive fact, namely, that it was a psycho- 
logical kingdom that he came to found. He aimed not to 
construct a new system of morals or of philosophy, but a new 
soul, with new capabilities, under new spiritual influences. Of 
course an outward life and form would be develoj^ed from this 
inspiration. Men would still need governments, institutions, 
customs. But with a regulated and reinforced nature they 
could be safely left to evolve these from their own reason 
and experience. As much as ever, there would be need of 
states, churches, schools. But for none of these need any pat- 
tern be given. They were left to be developed freely, as 
experience should dictate. Government is inevitable. It is a 
universal constitutional necessity in man. There was no more 
need of providing for that, than of providing for sleep or for 
breathing. Life, if fully developed and left free to choose, will 
find its way to all necessary outward forms, in government, in 
society, and in industry. 

Therefore they utterly misconceive the genius of Christ's work 
who suppose that he aimed at the establishment of an organized 
church. Beyond the incidental commands to his disciples to 
draw together and maintain intimate social life, there is no 
special or distinctive provision for church organization. That 
was left to itself As after events have shown, the tendency to 
organize was already too strong. Religion has been imprisoned 
in its own institutions. Perhaps the most extraordinary contrast 
ever known to history is that which exists between the genius 
of the Gospels and the pompous claims of church hierarchies. 
Christians made haste to repeat the mistakes of the Hebrews. 
Religion ran rank to outwardness. The fruit, hidden by the 
enormous growth of leaves, could not ripen. Spirituality died 
of ecclesiasticism. If the Church has been the nurse, it has 
also been often the destroyer of religion. 

If Jesus came to found a church,, never were actions so at 
variance with purposes. There are no recorded instructions to 
this end. He remained in the full communion of the Jewish 
Church to the last. Nor did his disciples or apostles dream of 
leaving the church of their fathers. They went up with their 
countrymen, at the great festivals, to Jerusalem. They resorted 

\^ ^ 

iBr ^ 


to the Temple for worship. They attempted to develop their 
new life within the old forms. Little by little, and slowly, they 
learned by experience that new wine could not be kept in old 
bottles. The new life required and found better conditions, a 
freer conscience, fewer rules, more liberty. For a short period 
the enfranchised soul, in its new promised land, shone forth with 
great glory ; but then, like the fathers of old, believers fell 
back from liberty to superstition, and for a thousand years have 
been in captivity to spiritual Babylon. 

The captivity is drawing to a close. The Jerusalem of the 
Spirit is descending, adorned as a bride for the bridegroom. 
The new life in God is gathering disciples. They are finding 
each other. Not disdaining outward helps, they are learning 
that the Spirit alone is essential. All creeds, churches, institu- 
tions, customs, ordinances, are but steps upon which the Chris- 
tian plants his foot, that they may help him to ascend to the 
perfect liberty in Christ Jesus. 





IF one considers that, after his experience in the wilderness, 
Jesus seems for a period of some months to liave returned to 
private life, — that he neither went to the Temple in Jerusalem, 
nor appeared before the religious teachers of his people, nor even 
apparently entered the Holy City, but abruptly departed to Gali- 
lee, — it may seem as if he had no plan of procedure, l^ut 
waited until events should open the way into his ministr3\ 

But what if it was his purpose to refuse all public life in our 
sense of that term ? AVhat if he meant to remain a private citi- 
zen, working as one friend would with another, eschewing the 
roads of influence already laid out, and going back to that simple 
personal power which one heart has upon another in genial and 
friendly contact ? 

His power was to be, not with whole communities, but with 
the individual, — from man to man ; and it was to spring, not 
from any machinery of institution wielded by man, nor from 
official position, but from his OAvn personal nature, and from 
the intrinsic force of truth to be uttered. At the very begin- 
ning, and through his whole career, we shall find Jesus clinging 
to private life, or to public life only in its transient and spon- 
taneous developments out of private life. He taught from house 
to house. He never went among crowds. They gathered about 
him, and dissolved again after he had passed on. The public 
roadside, the synagogues, the princely mansion, the Temple, the 


^ -ft 


boat bj the sea-shore, the poor man's cottage, were all alike mere 
incidents, the accidents of time and place, and not in any man- 
ner things to be depended upon for influence. He was not an 
elder or a ruler in the synagogue, nor a scribe or a priest, but 
strictly a private citizen. He was in his own simple self the 
wl]X)le power. 

The first step of Jesus in his ministry is a return home to his 
mother. This is not to be looked at merely as a matter of senti- 
ment.; it is characteristic of the new dispensation which he came 
to inaugurate. 

In the spiritual order that was now to be introduced there 
were to be no ranks and classes, no public and official life as 
distinguished from private and personal. The Church was to 
be a household; men were to be brethren, '"'members one of 
another." God was made known as the Father, mao-isterial 
ni love. 

Had Jesus separated himself from the common life, even by 
assuming the garb and place of an authorized teacher, had he 
affiliated with the Temple officers, had he been in any way con- 
nected with a hierarchy, his course would have been at variance 
with one aim of his mission. It was the private life of the world 
to which he came. His own personal life, his home life, his famil- 
iar association with men, his social intercourse, formed his true 
public career. He was not to break in upon the world with the 
boisterous energy of warriors, — "He shall not strive nor cry"; 
nor was he to seek, after the manner of ambitious orators, to 
dazzle the people, — " His voice shall not be heard in the streets." 
Without pressing unduly this prophecy of the Messiah, it may be 
said that it discriminates between an ambitious and noisy career, 
and a ministry that was to move among men with gentleness^ 
affaljility, sympathy, and loving humility. 

We shall lose an essential characteristic of both his disposition 
and his dispensation, if we accustom ourselves to think of Jesus 
as a public man, in our sense of official eminence. We are to 
look for him among the common scenes of daily life, not dis- 
tinguished in any way from the people about him, except in 
superior wisdom and goodness. It is true that he often stood 
in public places, but only as any other Jew might have done. 


He was never set apart in any manner after the usages of the 
priesthood. He came back from artificial arrangements to nature. 
There is great significance in the title by which he almost invari- 
ably spoke of himself, — "the Son of Man." By this title he 
emphasized his mission. He had descended from God. He 
was born of woman, had joined himself to the human family, 
and meant to cleave fast to his kindred. To one conscious of 
his own Divinity, the title "Son of Man" becomes very signifi- 
cant of the value which he placed upon liis union with man- 
kind. His personal and intimate connection with the great 
body of the people, beginning with his early years, was con- 
tinued to the end. 

It is not strange, then, that Jesus began his active ministry 
with a return from the scene of his temptation to his former 
home. He did not pause at Nazareth, but either went with his 
mother or followed her to Cana, where a wedding was to take 
place. There were two Canas, — one now called Kefr Kcnna, 
a small village about four miles and a half northeast of Nazareth, 
and Kana-el-Jelil, about nine miles north of Nazareth; and the 
best authorities leave it still uncertain in which the first miracle 
of our Lord was performed. It may be interesting, but it is not 
important, to determine the question. 

The appearance of Jesus at the wedding, and his active par- 
ticipation in the festivities, are full of meaning. It is highly im- 
probable that John the Baptist could have been persuaded to 
appear at such a service. For he lived apart from the scenes 
of common life, was solitary, and even severe. His followers 
would have been strongly inclined to fjill in with the philoso- 
phy and practices of the Essenes. If so, the simple pleasures 
and the ordinary occupations of common life would be regarded 
as inconsistent with religion. Jesus had just returned from 
John's presence. He had passed through the ordeal of solitude 
and the temptation of the wilderness. He had gathered three 
or four disciples, and was taking the first steps in his early 
career. That the very first act should be an attendance, with 
his disciples, by invitation, at a Jewish wedding, which was sel- 
dom less than three and usually of seven days' duration, and 
was conducted with most joyful festivities, cannot but be re- 
garded as a significant testimony. 



The Hebrews were led by their reHgious institutions to the cul- 
tivation of social and joyous habits. Their great religious feasts 
were celebrated with some days of solemnity, but with more of 
festivity such as would seem to our colder manners almost like 
dissipation. In all nations the wedding of young people calls 
forth sjanpathy. Among the Hebrews, from the earliest times, 
nuptial occasions were celebrated with rejoicings, in which the 
whole community took some part. 

The scene comes before us clearly. The bridegroom's house, 
or his father's, is the centre of festivity. The bride and groom 
spend the day separately in seclusion, in confession of sin and 
rites of purgation. As evening draws near, the friends and rel- 
atives of the bride luring her forth from her parents' house in 
full bridal apparel, with myrtle vines and garlands of flowers about 
her head. Torches precede the company ; music breaks out on 
every side. Besides the instruments provided for the processions, 
songs greet them along the way; for the street is lined with 
virgins, who yield to the fair candidate that honor which they 
hope in time for themselves. They cast flowers before her, 
and little cakes and roasted ears of wheat. The street resounds 
with gayety; and as the band draws near the appointed' dwell- 
ing;, the brideo-room and his friends come forth to meet the 
bride and to conduct her into the house. After some legal 
settlements have been perfected, and the marriage service has 
been performed, a sumptuous feast is provided, and the utmost 
joy and merriment reign. Nor do the festivities terminate with 
the immediate feast. A whole week is devoted to rejoicing 
and gayety. 

It must not be imagined, however, that such prolonged social 
enjoyment degenerated into dissipation. In luxurious cities, 
and especially after commerce and Avealth had brought in for- 
eign manners, the grossest excesses came to prevail at great 
feasts ; but the common people among the old Hebrews were, 
in the main, temperate and abstinent. That almost epidemic 
drimkenness which in modern times has prevailed among 
Teutonic races, in cold climates, was unknown to the great body 
of the Hebrew nation. 

The sobriety and vigorous industry of the society in which 
we have been educated indisposes us to sympathize with such 



exj^enditure of time for social purposes as was common among 
the Hebrews. We spare a single day at long intervals, and 
then hasten back to our tasks as if escaping from an evil. 
Weddings among the poorest Jews, as we have said, seldom ab- 
sorbed less than three days. The ordinary term of conviviality 
was seven days. Among men of wealth or eminent station, the 
genial service not unfrequently extended to fourteen days. 
During this time, neighbors came and went. Those from a 
distance tarried both day and night. The time was filled up 
with entertainments suitable to the condition of the various 
classes. The young employed the cool hours with dances. 
The aged quietly looked on, or held tranquil converse apart from 
the crowd. Nor was intellectual provision wanting. Readings 
and addresses w^ere then unknown. In a land where philosophy 
was as yet only a collection of striking proverbs or ingenious 
enigmas, it was deemed an intellectual exercise to propound 
riddles and " dark sayings," and to call forth the exercise of 
the imagination in giving solutions. These occasions were not 
devoted, then, to a mere riot of merry-making. They Avere 
the meetings of long-dispersed friends, the gathering-points of 
connected families; in the absence of facilities for frequent 
intercourse, the seven days of a w^edding feast would serve as a 
means of intercommunion and the renewal of friendships ; and 
it was peculiarly after the genius of the Hebrew people that both 
religion and social intercourse should take place with the accom- 
paniments of ^abundant eating and drinking. The talkie was 
loaded with provisions, the best that the means of the parties 
could supply; nor was it unusual for the guests also to con- 
tribute to the common stock. 

There is no reason to presume that the wedding at Cana was 
of less duration than the common period of seven days ; and it 
may be assumed, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, 
that Jesus remained to the end. It has been surmised that it 
was a near connection of his mother who was the host upon this 
occasion. However that may be, she was actively engaged in 
the management of the feast, kept herself informed of the state 
of the provisions, sought to replenish them when they were 
expended, and assumed familiar authority over the servants, 
who appear to have obeyed her implicitly. 

^ ^ ^ 

{B- ^ 


Nothing coulfl well be a greater violation of the spirit of 
his people, and less worth}'- of him, than the supposition that 
JesiLs walked among the joyous guests with a cold or disap- 
proving eye, or that he held himself aloof and was wrapped 
in his own meditations. His whole life shows that his soul 
went out in sympathy with the human life around him. His 
manners were so agreeable and attractive that all classes of 
men instinctively drew near to him. It needs not that we 
imagine him breaking forth into effulgent gayety; but that he 
looked upon the happiness around him with smiles it would be 
wrong to doubt. There are some whose very smile carries 
benediction, and whose eye sheds perpetual happiness. 

But Jesus was not simply a genial guest. He had chosen 
the occasion for the display of his first miracle. It would seem 
that more guests had come to the Avedding than had been 
provided for, drawn, perhaps, from day to day, in increasing 
numbers, by the presence of Jesus. The wine gave out. The 
scene as recorded by John is not Avithout its remarkable fea- 
tures. The air of Mary in applying to her son seems to point 
either to some previous conversation, or to the knoAvledge on 
her part that he possessed extraordinary poAvers, and that he 
might be expected to exercise them. 

" They haA'^e no [more] Avine." 

Jesus said unto her, " Woman, Avhat have I to do AA^th 
thee ? mine hour is not yet come." 

Interpreted according to the impression Avliich such language 
Avould make were it employed thus abruptly in our day, 
this reply must be admitted to be not only a refusal of his 
mother's request, but a rebuke as Avell, and in language hardly 
less than harsh. But interpreted through the impression AA'hich 
it produced upon his mother, it was neither a refusal nor a 
rebuke ; for she acted as one Avho had asked and obtained a 
favor. She turned at once to the servants, Avith the command, 
"Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it." This is not the lan- 
guage of one AAdio felt rebuked, but of one Avhose request 
had been granted. 

In houses of any pretension it Avas customary to make pro- 
vision for the numerous AA^ashings, both of the person and of 
vessels, Avhich the Pharisaic usages required. (Mark vii. 4.) 

cfe-^ ^ 


In this instcance there were six large water-vessels, holding two 
or three firkins apiece. The six " water-pots of stone," there- 
fore, had a capacity of about one hundred and twenty-six gal- 

These vessels were filled with water, and at the will of the 
Lord the water became wine. When the master of the feast 
tasted it, it proved so much superior to the former supply as to 
call forth his commendation. The quantity of wine has excited 
some criticism ; but it should be borne in mind that in Palestine, 
where light wines were so generally a part of the common 
drink, four barrels of wine would not seem a supply so extraor- 
dinary as it does to people in non-wine-growing countries, who 
have been accustomed to see fiery wines, in small quantities and 
at high prices. It must also be remembered that the company 
was large, or else the provision would not have given out, and 
that it was without doubt to be yet larger from day to day, the 
miracle itself tending to bring together all the neighborhood. 
It is to be considered also that wine, unlike bread, is not perish- 
able, but grows better with age ; so that, had the quantity been 
far greater than their present need, it would not be wasted. On 
the other hand, there were reasons why the supply should be 
generous. The wine had once given out. The strange supply 
said to every one, There can be no second fixilure. Abundance 
goes with power wherever the Divine hand works. 

That the wine created by our Lord answered to the fermented 
wine of the country would never have been doubted, if the exi- 
gencies of a modern and most beneficent reformation had not 
created a strong but unwise disposition to do away with the 

^ The term " firkin," in our English version, is the Greek metretes, corresponding, 
according to Josephus, to the Hebrew bath. The Attic metretes held 8 gallons and 7.4 
pints. The water-vessels are said in the Gospel to have held between two and three 
firkins, or metretes, apiece, which would be somewhere between 1 7 atid 25 gallons. Call- 
ing it 21 gallons, six of them would be 126 gallons. The writer in Smith's Bible Dic- 
tionary places the quantity at 110 gallons; but Wordsworth gives 136. The lowest 
estimate which we have seen puts it at 60 gallons, but the weight of authority places it as 
in the text. 

It has been remarked, that the fact that these vessels were exclusively appropriated 
to water, and never used for holding wine, will prevent the slipping over this miracle 
by saying that wine was already in the vessels, and that water was only added to it. 
The quantity, too, made it impossible that it should have been wrought in an under- 
handed and collusive manner. It is the very first of a long series of miracles, and one of 
the most indisputable. 

^ ^ ^ 


midoubted example of our Lord. But though the motive was 
good, and the effort most ingeniously and plausibly carried out, 
the result has foiled to satisfy the best scholars ; and it is the 
almost universal conviction of those competent to form a judg- 
ment, that our Lord did both make and use wines which an- 
swer to the fermented wines of the present day in Palestine.^ 
Drunkenness has prevailed in all ages and in all countries, 
but it has been the vice of particular races far more than of 
others. In the earlier periods of the world, all moral remedial 
influences were relatively weak. With the progressive devel- 
opment of man we have learned to throw off evils by ways 
which were scarcely practicable in early days. So it has been 
with the sin of drunkenness. Christian men proposed, some half 
a century ago, voluntarily to abstain from the use, as a diet 
or as a luxury, of all that can intoxicate. A revolution of pub- 
he sentiment gradually followed in respect to the drinking usages 
of society. This abstinence has been urged upon various 
grounds. Upon the intrinsic nature of all alcoholic stimulants 
temperance men have been divided in opinion, some taking the 
extreme ground that alcohol is a poison, no less when devel- 
oped by fermentation and remaining in chemical combination 
than when by distillation it exists in separation and concentra- 

1 The editors of the Congrccjalional Review, No. 54, pp. 398, 390, in a review of Com- 
munion Wine and Bible Temperance, by Rev. AViUiam M. Thayer, pubHshed by the 
National Temperance Society, 1869, use the following language : — 

" We respect the zeal of Mr. Thayer, and do not question his smcenty. But we have 
cone over the arguments he has reproduced; we have considered his so-called evidence 
which has so often done duty in its narrow range ; we have pondered the discussions of 
Lees, Nott, Ritchie, and Duffield, before him ; what is more, we have gone over the Greek 
and Hebrew Scriptures carefully for ourselves; have sifted the testimony of travellers 
who knew, and those who did not know ; have corresponded with missionaries and con- 
ferred with Jewish Rabbis on this subject; and if there is anything in Biblical literature 
on which we can speak confidently, we have no doubt that Dr. Laurie is right and that 
Rev. Uv. Thayer is wrong." (Mr. Thayer's book is an attempt to show that there are 
two kinds of wine spoken of in the Bible, one of which is intoxicating and the other not ) 
"In these views we are thoroughly supported. If we mistake not, the Biblical schol- 
arship of Andover, Princeton, Newton, Chicago, and New Haven, as well as Smiths 
Bible Dictionary and Kitto's Biblical Cjclopcedia, is with us. One of the most learned 
and devout scholars of the country recei>tly said to us: ' None but a third-rate scholar 
adopts the view that the Bible describes two kinds of wine.' Tlie National Temper- 
ance Society has done its best to create a dilVerent popular belief, if not to cast odium 
on those who do not accept its error. We regret it, for the temperance cause can be 
carried on by sound arguments and fail- means, and all talse methods must recoil at 





tion, — a statement in which some physiologists of note have 
concurred. But these views have never won favor with the great 
body of physiologists, and the more recent investigators are far- 
ther from admitting them than their predecessors. Yet it is cer- 
tain that the discussions and investigations have destroyed, it 
may be hoped forever, the extravagant notions which have jore- 
vailed in all countries as to the benefits of wine and strong 
drinks. It is admitted that they are always injurious to many 
constitutions, that they are medically useful in far less degrees 
and in fewer instances than hitherto has been supposed, and that 
to ordinary persons in good health they are not needful, adding 
neither any strength nor any vitality which could not be far 
better attained by wholesome food and suitable rest. 

A certain advantage would be gained in the advocacy of total 
abstinence if it could be shown that any use of wine is a sin 
against one's own nature. But the moral power of example is 
immeasurablv i»:reater if those who hold that wine and its col- 
leagues are not unwholesome when used sparingly shall yet, as a 
free-Avill offering to the weak, cheerfully refrain from their use. 
To relinquish a wrong is praiseworthy ; but to yield up a per- 
sonal right for benevolent purposes is far more admirable. 

There have not been many spectacles of equal moral impres- 
siveness, since the coming of Christ, than the example of mil- 
lions of Christian men, in both hemispheres, cheerfully and 
enthusiastically giving up the use of intoxicating drink, that by 
their example they might restrain or win those who were in 
danger of ruinous temptation. If in any age or nation the evil 
of intemperance is not general nor urgent, the entire abstinence 
from wine may be wise for j)eculiar individuals, but it can have 
no general moral influence, since the conditions would be want- 
ing which called for self-sacrifice. 

Had Jesus, living in our time, beheld the wide waste and 
wretchedness arising from inordinate appetites, can any one 
doubt on which side he Avould be found ? Was not his Avhole 
life a superlative giving up of his own rights for the benefit of 
the fallen ? Did he not teach that customs, institutions, and laws 
must yield to the inherent sacredness of man ? In his own age 
he ate and drank as his countrymen did, judging it to be safe 
to do so. But this is not a condemnation of the course of those 

cQ-" ^ 


who, in other lands and under different circumstances, wholly 
abstain from wine and strong drink, for their own good and for 
the good of others. The same action has a different moral 
significance in different periods and circumstances. Jesus fol- 
lowed the harmless custom of his country ; when, in another 
age and country, the same custom had become mischievous, 
would he have allowed it? "All things are laAvful unto me, 
but all things are not expedient." (1 Cor. vi. 12.) "It is good 
neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor anything whereby 
thy brother .... is made weak." (Rom. xiv. 21.) 

The example of Christ beyond all question settles the doctrine, 
that, if abstinence from wine is practised, it must be a voluntary 
act, a cheerful surrender of a thing not necessarily in itself 
harmful, for the sake of a true benevolence to others. But if it 
be an extreme to wrest the example of Christ in favor of the 
total-abstinence theories of modern society, it is a yet more dan- 
gerous one to employ his example as a shield and justification 
of the drinking usages which have proved the greatest curse 
ever known to man. Nor can we doubt that a voluntary absti- 
nence from all that intoxicates, as a diet or a luxury, by all 
persons in health, for moral reasons, is in accordance with the 
very spirit of the gospel. The extraordinary benefits which have 
accompanied and followed the temperance reformation mark it as 
one of the great victories of Christianity. 

The scenes at Cana are especially grateful to us as disclosing 
the inward feeling of Jesus respecting social life, as well as the 
peculiar genius of Christianity. He began his mission to others 
by going home to his mother. The household was his first 
temple : the opening of a wedded life engaged his first sympa- 
thy, and the promotion of social and domestic happiness was 
the inspiration of his first miracle. We are especially struck 
with his direct production of enjoyment. In marked contrast 
"svith the spirit of many of the reigning moral philosophers, who 
despised pleasure, Christ sought it as a thing essentially good. 
Recognizing the truth that goodness and virtue are the sources 
of continuous happiness, Jesus taught that gladness is one of 
the factors of virtue, and none the less so because sorrow is 
another, each of them playing around the forms and events of 

^ ^ ^ 


practical life as do light and shadow in a picture. Far more 
important than we are ajDt to consider among the secondary 
influences which have maintained Christianity itself in this 
world, in spite of the corruption of its doctrines and the horri- 
ble cruelty of its advocates, has been its subtile and indestructi- 
ble sympathy both with suffering and with joy. It sounds the 
depths of the one, and rises to the height of the other. Its power 
has never lain in its intellectual elements, but in its command of 
that nature which lies back of all philosophy or voluntary activ- 
ity. It breathes the breath of the Almighty upon the elements of 
the soul, and again order and life spring from darkness and chaos. 

Through the household, as through a gate, Jesus entered upon 
his ministry of love. Ever since, the Christian home has been 
the refuge of true religion. Here it has had its purest altars, 
its best teachers, and a life of self-denying love in all gladness, 
which is constituted a perpetual memorial of the nourishing love 
of God, and a symbol of the great mj^stery of sacrifice by which 
love perpetually lays down its life for others. The religion of 
the Synagogue, of the Temple, and of the Church would have 
perished long ago but for the ministry of the household. It 
was fit that a ministry of love should begin at home. It Avas 
fit, too, that love should develop joy. Joyful love inspires 
self-denial, and keeps sorrow wholesome. Love civilizes con- 
science, refines the passions, and restrains them. The bright 
and joyful opening of Christ's ministry has been generally lost 
sight of The darkness of the last great tragedy has thrown 
back its shadow upon the morning hour of his life. His course 
was rounded out, like a perfect day. It began with the calm- 
ness and dewiness of a morning, it came to its noon with 
fervor and labor, it ended in twilight and darkness, but rose 
again without cloud, unsetting and immortal. 

For two years Jesus pursued his ministry in his own Galilee, 
among scenes familiar to his childhood, everywhere performing 
the most joyful work which is possible to this world, — that 
of bringing men out of trouble, of inspiring hunger for truth 
and righteousness, of cheering the hopeless and desponding, 
besides works of mercy, almost without number, directed to 
the relief of the physical condition of the poor and neglected. 

The few disciples who had accompanied Jesus, and were with 

0^ ^ 

a- — ^ -^ 


him at the marriage, were drawn to him by that miracle with 
renewed admiration. The bands that at first held them to 
their Master must have been slight. Being rude, unlettered 
men, accustomed to live by their senses onl}', they were not 
yet qualified to go without important external adjuvants. As 
there was no organization, no school or party, no separate relig- 
ious forms, but only this one peasant prophet, lately a mechanic, 
whose words and bearing had greatly fascinated them, it was to 
be expected that they would soon despond and doubt if some- 
thing- tanirible were not given them; and this miracle answered 
their need. The eftect produced on their minds was thouglit 
worthy of record : " And his disciples believed on him." Of all 
the remaining crowd of guests, of the host and his household, of 
the bridal pair and their gay companions, nothing is said. Prob- 
ably the miracle was the wonder of the hour, and then passed 
with the compliments and congratulations of the occasion into 
the happy haze of memory, in which particulars are lost, and 
only a pleasing mist overhangs the too soon receding past. 

But it seems certain that all of the immediate household 
of Jesus were brought for a time under his influence. For 
when, soon after these events, he went down to Capernaum, 
upon the northwestern coast of the Sea of Galilee, all went 
with him, — "he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his 
disciples." (John ii. 12.) Nothing is disclosed of the object 
of this visit, or of his occupation while there. It is not im- 
probable, though it is but a supposition, that he had formerly 
plied his trade in Capernaum, while he was yet living by 
manual labor. After he was rejected and treated with brutal 
ignominy by his own townsmen of Nazareth, he made Caper- 
naum his home. It is probable that his mother, sister, and 
brethren removed thither, and had there a house to which 
Jesus resorted as to a home when he was in Capernaum.^ It 
is believed that it was a city of considerable population and 
importance. It was always called a " city," had its synagogue, 
in which Jesus often taught, was a Roman garrison town and 
a customs station. It is probable that it was on the lake shore, 

^ Grove says, in Smith's Bible Dictionarij, that the phrase in Mark ii. 1, "in the 
house," has in the Greek the force of " at home." So, in modern languages, the French 
cj la maison, tlie German zu Ilause, the Italian alia casa, etc. 

^ ^ -gj 


near the city, that Jesus saw and called Simon Peter and his 
brother Andrew, while they were " mending their nets." Mat- 
thew — who resided there, was a publican, and was summoned 
by the Lord from this odious occupation to discipleship — says, 
with perhaps a little pride, speaking of Capernaum : " And he 
entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own citi/." 
Here too he healed the demoniac (Mark i. 21-28), cured the 
centurion's servant (Luke vii. 1), the paralytic (Mark ii. 3), and 
the man with an unclean devil (Mark i. 23, Luke iv. 33), and 
raised Jairus's daughter (Mark v. 22). It Avas here that the 
nobleman's son lay when in Cana the healing word went forth 
which restored him. It was at Capernaum that, when tribute 
was demanded of him, he sent Peter to find in a fish's mouth the 
piece of money required (Matt. xvii. 24). Here he healed 
Peter's wife's mother, who "lay sick of a fever"; and Tristram, 
in arguing for the site of Capernaum at the "Round Fountain," 
remarks that fevers are prevalent there to this day. It was in 
or near this city that many of our Lord's most striking para- 
bles were uttered, — "the sower," "the tares," "the goodly 
pearls," "the net cast into the sea," and, notably, "the Sermon 
on the Mount." It was in Capernaum that he discoursed on 
fasting (Matt. ix. 10), and exposed the frivolous customs and 
vain traditions of the Pharisees (Matt. xv. 1, etc.). Here also 
occurred the remarkable discussion recorded by John only (John 
vi. 22-71), and the discourse upon humility, with a "little 
child" for the text (Mark ix. 33-50). 

Jerusalem is more intimately associated with the solemn close 
of Christ's life, but no place seems to have had so much of his 
time, discourse, and miracles as Capernaum. And yet nowhere 
was he less successful in winning the people to a sjoiritual life, 
or even to any considerable attention, save the transient enthu- 
siasm excited by a miracle. The intense cry of sorrow uttered 
by Jesus over Jerusalem has its counterpart in his righteous 
indignation over the city by the sea : " And thou, Capernaum, 
which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell ; 
for if the mighty works which have been done in thee had been 

done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day 

It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom, in the day 
of judgment, than for thee." (Matt. xi. 23, 24.) Even if Jesus 

[^-^ ^ 




wrought miracles at this first visit to Capernaum, immediately 
after the wedding scene at Cana, no record or notice of them 
appears in the narrative, except that, afterward, when he was in 
Nazareth, he heard, doubtless, the whisperings and taunts of his 
impudent townsmen, and replied : " Ye will surely say unto me 
this proverb. Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard 
done in Capernaum do also here in thy country." We may infer, 
then, that the whole country was full of the rumor of his miracles 
diu'ing his brief stay on this his earliest visit to Capernaum. 

Although the woes denounced against "his own city" were 
designed to reach its citizens rather than the streets and dwell- 
ings of the city itself, yet they seem to have overflowed and 
fallen with crushing weight upon the very stones of the town. 
The plain of Genesareth and the Sea of Galilee are still there, 
as when Christ made them famihar by his daily footsteps along 
their border. But the cities, — they are utterly perished! 
Among several heaps of shapeless stones upon the northeast 
coast of the Sea of Galilee, for hundreds of years, geographers 
and antiquaries have groped and dug in vain. Which was 
Bethesda, which Chorazin or Capernaum, no one can tell to this 
day. Not Sodom, under the waters of the Dead Sea, is more 
lost to sight than the guilty cities of that other plaui, Genesareth. 


"And they continued there not many days." The Passover 
being at hand, Jesus went to Jerusalem, and there next we must 
see him and hear his voice. 

[B- — - ^ 



TWELVE tribes settled Palestine and a narrow strip of terri- 
tory east of the river Jordan. The tribal spirit Avas strong. 
Had there been no provision for keeping up a common national 
life, the Israelites would have been liable to all the evils of 
a narrow and obstinate provincial spirit. There were neither 
schools to promote intelligence nor books to feed it. Modern 
nations, through the newspapers and swift tracts, keep their 
people conversant with the same ideas at the same time. Every 
week sees the millions of this continent thinking and talking 
of the same events, and discussing the same policies or interests. 
But no such provision for a common popular education was 
possible in Palestine. 

The same residt, however, was sought by the great Lawgiver 
of the Desert by means of a circulation of the people them- 
selves. Three times in each year every male inhabitant of the 
land who was not legally impure, or hindered by infirmity or 
sickness, was commanded to appear in Jerusalem, and for a 
week to engage in the solemn or joyful services of the Temple. 
The great occasions were the Passover, the Pentecost, and the 
Feast of Tabernacles. It is probable that the first and last of 
these were borrowed from celebrations already existing among 
other nations of antiquity, and primarily had reference to the 
course of nature. The seasons of seed-Sowing and harvesting 
would naturally furnish points for religious and social festivals. 
We still retain a vestige of these festivals in the melancholy 
Fast-day of New England and in the Thanksgiving-day of the 
nation ; so that these simple primitive observances of the vernal 
and autumnal positions of the sun seem likely to outlive all 
more elaborate institutions. But if Moses borrowed festivals 
already in vogue, it is certain that he gave new associations to 

f^ . — ^ 



them by making them commemorate certain great events in 
the history of the Israelites. 

The feast of the Passover was kept in remembrance of the 
safety of the Jews on that awful night when Jehovah smote 
the first-born of every family in Egypt, but passed over the 
dwellings of his own people, and forbade the angel of death 
to strike any of their households. The event itself marked an 
epoch in Jewish history. The secondary benefits of its celebra- 
tion, however, were primary in moral importance. To be taken 
away from home and sordid cares ; to be thrown into a mighty 
stream of pilgrims that moved on from every quarter to Jerusa- 
lem ; to see one's own countrjnnen from every part of Palestine, 
and with them to offer the same sacrifices, in the same place, 
l3y a common ministration ; to utter the same psalms, and mingle 
in the same festivities, — could not but produce a civilizing 
influence far stronger than would result from such a course in 
modern times, when society has so much better means of edu- 
cating its people. 

It was not far from the time of the Passover that Jesus went 
to Capernaum, and his stay there was apparently shortened by 
his desire to be in Jerusalem at this solemn festival. Already 
he beheld among his countrymen preparations for the journey. 
Pilcrrims were passing through Capernaum. The great road 
along the western shore of the Lake of Genesareth was filled 
with groups of men going toward Jerusalem. Probably Jesus 
joined himself to the company; nor can any one who has no- 
ticed his cheerful and affectionate disposition doubt that he 
exerted upon his chance companions that winning influence 
which so generally brought men about him in admiring fiimili- 

If he pursued the route east of the Jordan, crossing again near 
the scene of his baptism, and ascending by the way of Jericho 
and Bethany, he approached Jerusalem from the east. From 
this quarter Jerusalem breaks upon the eye with a beauty which 
it has not when seen from any other direction. At this time, 
too, he would behold swarming with people, not the city only, 
but all its neighborhood. Although it was the custom of all pious 
Jews to entertain their countrymen at the great feasts, yet no 
city could hold the numbers. The fields were white with tents. 



The hills round about were covered as with an encamped army. 
Josephus says that at the Passover A. d. 65, there were three 
million Jews in attendance, and that in the reign of Nero there 
were on one occasion two million seven hundred thousand ; and 
even greater numbers have been recorded. But if the half of 
these were present, it is plain that the whole region around 
Jerusalem, together with near villages, must have been over 

Right before him, as he came over the Mount of Olives, shone 
forth the Temple, whose foundations rose sheer from the pre- 
cipitous rocks on the eastern side of Jerusalem, and whose white 
marble smnmits glittered in the sun higher than the highest 
objects in the city itself. 

We should dismiss from our minds all preconceptions of the 
appearance of the renowned Temple, whether based upon classic 
temples or upon modern cathedrals or churches. It resembled 
none of them, but stood by itself, without parallel or likeness 
either in structure or method, as it certainly stood alone among 
all temples in its wonderful uses. It was not so much a building 
as a system of structures ; one quadrangle within another, the 
second standing upon higher groimd than the outermost, and 
the Temple proper upon a position highest of all, and forming 
the architectural climax of beauty, as it certainly stood highest 
in moral sacredness. The Temple of Solomon was originally 
built upon the rocky heights on the east side of Jerusalem, and 
was separated from the city by a deep ravine. The heights not 
affording sufficient room for all the outbuildings, the royal archi- 
tect built up a wall from the valley below and filled in the 
enclosed space with earth. Other additions continued to be 
made, until, when Herod had finished the last Temple, — that 
one which shone out upon Jesus and the pilgrims coming over 
the Mount of Olives, — the whole space, including the tower of 
Antonia, occupied about nineteen acres. The Temple, then, was 
not a single building, like the Grecian temples or like modern 
cathedrals, but a system of concentric enclosiu^es or comets, — 
a kind of sacerdotal citadel, of which the Temple proper, though 
the most splendid part of it, and lifted high above all the rest, 
was in space and bulk but a small part. In approaching the 
sacred mount, the Jew first entered the outer court, called the 


B ^ p gDBBnQBQnnnoiia 

1 a u g B g a__B { 




I B B D B m~B 







Court of the Gentiles, not because it was set apart for them, but 
because Gentiles, rigorously excluded from every other portion 
of the Temple enclosures, were permitted, with all others, to 
enter there. This outer quadrangle, taken separately from the 
residue of the Temple system, was remarkable for its magnitude, 
its magnificence, and the variety of its uses. Although its walls 
were elevated, yet, standing upon a lower level, they did not 
hide the interior courts, with their walls, gates, and adornments. 
On the inner side of the walls of this outer court extended 
porticos or cloisters with double rows of white marble Corinthian 
columns. The ceiling was flat, finished with cedar, and nearly 
forty feet in height above the floor. But these cloisters were 
quite eclipsed by the magnificence of the Stoa Basilica, or Royal 
Porch, on the south side. It consisted of a nave and two aisles, 
six hundred feet in length, formed by four rows of white marble 
columns, forty columns in each row. Tlie breadth of the central 
space was forty-five feet, and its height one hundred. The side 
spaces were thirty feet wide and fifty in height. This impressive 
building was unlike any other, in that it was wholly open on 
the side toward the Temple ; it was connected Avith the city and 
the king's palace by a bridge thrown across the ravine. This 
vast arcade was a grand resort for all persons of leisure who 
repaired to the Temple, a kind of ecclesiastical Exchange, some- 
what analogous to the Grecian Agora or the Roman Forum ; 
a place of general resort for public, literary, or professional 
business. Some parts of it were appropriated to synagogical 
purposes. It was here that Jesus was accustomed to teach the 
people and to hold discourse with the Scribes and Pharisees; 
and here, too, the early Christians, who did not consider them- 
selves as broken off from the Jewish Church or debarred from 
the rights and privileges of the Temple, used to assemble for 
conversation and worship. 

Although the cathedral-like aisles of Herod's Stoa Basilica, on 
the south side, were the most magnificent part of the Court of 
the Gentiles, yet on all its sides stood spacious colonnades or 
cloisters, and next within was an open court paved with stones 
of various colors. Still farther inside of this open court one 
came to a low marble partition, beautifully carved, and bearing 
the warning, in several languages, that it was death for any 





Gentile to pass beyond it. Paul was accused of having taken 
Greeks beyond it (Acts xxi. 28). By bearing in mind this 
screen, we shall understand the force and beauty of Paul's argu- 
ment that Christ had " broken down the middle wall of partition 
between us."^ 

A few yards beyond this screen of exclusion, one ascended 
by a series of steps to the next enclosure or quadrangle, which 
was twenty-two feet above the level of the Court of the Gentiles. 
This court was again subdivided into the Court of the Israelites 
and the Court of the Women. The Temple stood in still another 
and a higher portion of this court, and was approached through 
a gate upon which had been lavished every element of archi- 
tectural beauty ; and it was this gate, probably, which was called 
Beaiitiftil {Ads iii. 2). The walls and the gateways were so built 
as to furnish numerous apartments for the officers of the Temple, 
for the priests and their retinue. In the Court of the Israelites 
and the Court of the Women were the various tables and utensils 
in use for sacrificial purposes. Within the Gate Beautiful stood 
the altar, and beyond that the Temple proper, in the form of an 
inverted T (Ji), comprising a portico, the sanctuary, and the 
Holy of Holies. The main portions of the Temple, it is believed, 
were of the same dimensions and upon the very foundations 
of Solomon's Temple. But it is supposed that, while the internal 
space remained the same, the external proportions were much 
increased, and that the wings of the fa<^ade were extended, so 
that the length of the Temple and the width of its front or facade 
were each one hundred feet. 

A general knowledge of the structure of the Temple is indis- 
pensable to those who would study either the history of Jesus 

' " But now, in Christ Jesus, ye, who sometimes were far ofT, are made nigh by the blood 
of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and liath broken down the 
middle wall of partition between us ; having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the 
law of commandments contained in ordinances : for to make in himself of twain one new 
man, so making peace ; and that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the 
cross, having slain the enmity thereby : and came and preached peace to you which were 
afar off and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit 
unto the Father. Xow therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow- 
citizens with the saints, and of the household of God ; and are built upon the foundation 
of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone ; in whom 
all the building, fitly framed together, groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord : in 
whom ye also are builded together, ibr au habitation of God through the Spirit." (Eph. 
ii. 13-22.) 





or that of his countrymen. One may know far more of Athens, 
her Acropohs left out, of Rome without its Forum or Capitol, 
than of Jerusalem without its Temple. Without that the city 
would have hardly any significance left. The Temple was at 
once the brain and the heart of the nation. It was the university 
and chief house of the learned men and priests, and gave to 
Palestine a centre of orthodoxy. Through the Temple circulated 
the whole people in its great annual visitations, and then, like 
blood that has been aerated, it carried back new life to every 
extremity of the land. 

With what feelings Jesus looked upon the Temple as he drew 
near to Jerusalem can only be surmised. It might seem as 
though his Divine soul would perceive little of use in the cum- 
brous ritual which he had come to abrogate. As he looked 
over from the Mount of Olives upon the encircling walls and 
battlements, the ascending rows of towers, arches, and gateways, 
and the pure white Temple glittering high in the air above all, 
could he fail to contrast the outward beauty with the interior 
desecration ? But it does not follow on that account that he felt 
little interest. On another occasion, when he looked from the 
same place over upon the whole city of Jerusalem, whose long 
and wearisome criminal history rose before his mind, he did not 
any the less experience a profound affection for the city, even 
Avhile pronouncing its doom. In like manner he might have 
looked upon the Temple, and, though conscious of its gross un- 
spirituality, he might have yet experienced a profound sympathy 
for it, considered in its whole past history, in its intent, and as 
the focus to which so many noble hearts had through ages con- 
verged. At any rate, he is soon found within it, and his first 
recorded act of authority took place in the Temple. 

It seems to us very strange that money-brokers, cattle, sheejD, 
and doves should be found in the Temple, and that trafficking 
should go on in that sacred place, if by this term we bring before 
our minds the true and innermost Temple. But these trans- 
actions took place in the lower and outer court, and probably 
at the western portion of the Court of the Gentiles. 

Thousands of Jews must have come, every year to Jerusalem 
without being in circumstances to bring with them the appropri- 
ate offerings. For their convenience, doves, sheep, and oxen 



were provided and held for sale, at first, probably, in the vicinity 
of the Temple enclosure. Little by little they intruded upon the 
space within, until they made it their head-quarters without 


This custom was less repulsive, probably, to the Jews than it 
would be to us, because the whole Temple was used in a manner 
that would utterly shock the sensibility of men educated in 
Christian churches. Thousands and hundreds of thousands of 
sheep, every Passover, as well as at every Pentecost and every 
Feast of Tabernacles, were borne into the Temple and carried 
or driven into the Court of the Priests, and there slain, the blood 
being caught by the priests in bowls and dashed upon the altar. 
Hour after hour, the Avhole day long, the spectacle continued. 
The secret channels down through the rocks, toward the king's 
garden, gurgled with blood. It was blood, blood, blood ; nor can 
a modern man imagine how it could be other than intolerably 
shocking. We cannot conceive how even familiarity would abate 
the repulsiveness of an altar incessantly flowing with blood, and 
of pavements and walls dri^jping with the same. 


^ -ft 


But the tolerant custom of herding cattle and sheep in the 
outer court of the Temple, the place where the people gathered 
and talked, where discussions and discourses went on, had doubt- 
less become so much abused that portions of the court had be- 
come almost a corral, or cattle -yard. 

In this court, too, brokers had congregated to exchange foreign 
coin for the shekel of the sanctuary, in which only could the Jew 
pay the Temple tax. The images on imperial coins savored of 
idolatry. The devout Jew, drawing near to the Temple, filled 
with pious associations, would find his meditations rudel}' broken 
in upon by loAving herds and bleating flocks, by the hagglino- of 
money-changers and the chink of their coin. If, as is suspected, 
the traffic was winked at by i\\Q Temple familiars because they 
were participants of the profits, it was all the more improper. 
Many decorous Jews would be scandalized at the growing evil, 
but what could they do ? 

On the first day of the Passover, or perhaps on the day before, 
wdien the herds of cattle were likely to l)e most in the way, the 
nuisance was suddenly abated. Without parley or leave asked, 
Jesus drove out the motley herd. It must have been one of 
those supreme moments, which came so often to him afterwards, 
when no one could stand before his gaze. Go hence ! and Avith 
a whip of small cords he drove out the lowing and bleatino- 
creatures, and their owners hastened after them ; no one seemed 
to resist him. He overthrew the monej'-changers' tables, and 
sent the coin ringing over the marble pavements. "Take these 
things hence ! Make not my Father's house an house of mer- 
chandise ! " 

The only comment made by the Evangelist John is in these 
words : " And his disciples remembered that it was written. The 
zeal of thy house hath eaten me up." But why should this 
passage have occurred to them, unless his manner had been full 
of energy, and his voice so terrible that the avaricious hucksters, 
though assailed in privileges permitted by the Temple officers, 
dared not resist ? The fact itself, and the commentary which the 
Evangelist adds, make it plain that there was in the countenance 
of Jesus, and in his manner, that which men did not choose to 

Nothing can better show how superior Christ was to the nar- 




row prejudices of the Jews against all foreign people. A heathen 
was an abomination. The only part of the Temple to which 
the Gentile could approach was this court. Jews did not care 
that cattle and money-brokers turned the court into a vast and 
noisy bazaar or market; they could pass on, and in the higher 
interior courts be free from all molestation. It was only the 
Gentile that suffered from this perversion of the great outer 
court of the Temple. The cleansing of this place was not only 
an act of humanity to the Gentiles, but may be regarded as the 
sign and precursor of the mercy of Christ to the whole worlds 
Jew or Gentile. 

Even if the rulers of the Temple were not spectators of this 
scene, the story must have soon come to their ears. There seems 
to have been no anger excited. Among the Jews there was 
singular toleration for any one upon whom came " the Spirit 
of the Lord." Besides, deeper than every other feeling, stronger 
even than avarice, ambition, and pride, or perhaps as the fullest 
expression of them all, was the longing for that Messiah who 
was to end their national degradation, exalt them to supremacy, 
and avenge upon the heathen double for all their sufferings. In 
sj)ite of all their worldliness, or rather a remarkable feature of it, 
was this und^'ing watchfulness for the Divine interposition in 
their behalf And when any person of remarkable gifts ap- 
peared, as in the case of John the Baptist, and in the earlier 
periods of Jesus's ministry, all eyes were turned upon him, and 
in anxious suspense they waited for evidence that he was the 
promised Deliverer. There is something inexpressibly sad in 
the sight of a proud nation resenting an oppression wdiich it could 
not resist, and carrying an unextinguished longing, night and 
day, for a promised champion, who was, in the sense expected, 
never to come. 

It was not in displeasure, but rather in eager expectancy, 
that the officers put the question, "What sign showest thou 
unto us, seeing thou doest such things ? " It was only another 
form of saying, as they did afterwards, " If thou be the Christ, 
tell us plainly." Jesus had taken things into his own hands, 
had revoked the permission which they had given to the traffick- 
ers, and for the moment he was the one person in supreme au- 
thority there. That he was not seized, ejected from the Temple, 


" ^"Bj 

the first jud^an ministry. 159 

or even slain, shows that the rulers hoped something from this 
new-comer who possessed such power of command. 

Jesus replied, " Destroy this temple, and in three days I will 
raise it up." The Jews, taking his answer literally, were stum- 
bled at the boast implied. " Forty and six years w^as this Temple 
in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?" The Evan- 
gelist John adds, "But he spake of the temple of his body." 

It is not strange that he should identify himself with the Tem- 
ple, for Jesus bore the same relation to the new dispensation 
which the Temple did to the old. What the visible altar and 
sanctuary were to ritual w^orship, that his heart was to spiritual 
worship. It is not the only instance in which Christ suggests 
a comparison between himself and the Temple. When defending 
himself against the charge of Sabbath-breaking, he refers to 
the blamelessness of the priests, though working on the Sabbath 
in the Temple. " But I say unto you, that in this place is one 
greater than the Temple." (Matt. xii. 6.) 

There has been much perplexity among commentators at this 
reply, which on its face meant one thing, and really meant 
another. But Jesus did not intend to have them penetrate the 
hidden meaning. Then why answer at all ? The mood in which 
the officers evidently were would not brook a defiant silence. 
The Jews were fanatically inflammable in all matters relating to 
the Temple. Without prudence or calculation of the result, they 
would throw^ themselves headlong upon Roman soldiers, or upon 
any others, who seemed to put contemj^t upon the holy place ; 
they were Uke hornets, who, when their nest is touched, dash 
with fiery courage upon the intruder, and that without regard 
to the certainty of their own destruction. The answer of Jesus, 
while it could not have seemed disrespectful, must have left 
them in suspense as to whether he was boasting, or whether 
he was claiming Divine power. It had the effect designed, at 
any rate. The great liberty wdiich Jesus had taken was allowed 
to pass without rebuke or violence, and he had avoided a public 
declaration of his Messiahship, which at that period would have 
been imprudent, whether the rulers accepted or rejected him. 
His time had not yet come. 

But was this baffling reply such a one as we should expect 
from a sincere and frank nature ? The answer to this question 

^ ^ 

[&- ^ 


will require us to consider for a moment the method of discourse 
which Christ adopted. No one ever taught with more trans- 
23arent simj^licity and directness. Much of his teaching reads 
like the Book of Proverbs, of which the Sermon on the Mount, as 
given by Matthew, is a good instance. At times he emploj-ed 
an argumentative or logical style, as in the discussions with the 
Jews recorded by John. He likewise taught by pictures ; for 
such are his exquisite little fables, as the Greeks Avould have 
called them, and which we style parables. But Jesus explicitly 
declared to his disciples, that, for wise purposes, he often em- 
ployed an outward form to hide within it a meaning which they 
were not yet prepared to accept. The outward form, therefore, 
acted the part of the lobes of a seed. They first preserve the 
germ till planting time, and then supply its food until it has 
roots of its own. We hear Jesus explicitly saying (Matt. xiii. 
10-16) that he taught in unintelligible forms. 

But we are to consider that among the Orientals, and especially 
among the Jews, this was considered as the highest form of 
instruction. It was the delight of philosophy to express itself in 
enigmas, paradoxes, parables, and even in riddles. Friendly 
arguments were not so much an array of facts and reasonings, 
as the proposing and the interpreting of dark sayings. In 
Proverbs the philoso2:)her is thus described : " A wise man will 
hear, and will increase learning ; and a man of understanding 
shall attain unto wise counsels : to understand a proverb, and 
the interpretation ; the words of the wise, and their dark say- 
ings." (Prov. i. 5, 6.) A "dark saying" was simjoly a truth 
locked up in a figure, hidden within a j)arable, in such a way 
as to stir the imagination and provoke the reason to search it 
out. The real design was not to conceal the truth, but, by 
exciting curiosity, to put men upon the search for it. (Ps. xlix. 
4 ; Dan. viii. 23.) Such a method of instruction easily degener- 
ated into a mere contest of puzzles and riddles. But we see 
it in its noblest form in the teaching of Jesus, where, though 
often used with wonderful skill to foil the craft and malice of his 
antagonists, it never failed to carry within it some profound 
moral truth. 

The crucifixion of Christ was to be the first step in the de- 
struction of the Temple. The blow aimed at Christ would shatter 

^ -R3 


the altar. All this lay before the mind of Jesus. His reply was 
a rebound of thought from the physical and the present to the 
invisible and spiritual. It was meant neither as an explanation 
nor as a prophecy ; it was rather a soliloquy : " Destroy- this 
Temple, and in three da3^s I will raise it again." Enigmatical 
to them and puzzling to commentators ever since, it would 
seem quite natural to one who looked at the spiritual as well as 
the temporal relations of all events and physical focts. He did 
not mean to speak definitely, either of his own death or of the 
end of the Levitical system. 

This answer conforms to Christ's habit of speaking, not to the 
thing suggesting, but to the ulterior truths suggested. A note 
being sounded, he took its octave. Witness the scene (John xii. 
20-26) where his disciples tell him that certain Greeks desire 
to see him. He replies : " The hour is come that the Son of Man 
should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you. Except a 
corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone ; 
but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." There never was a 
greater enthusiasm for him among the whole community than at 
that moment. Even foreigners were infected. When told of this, 
he answers not to the outside fact, but to the inward vision. 

In this light, his reply to the rulers in the Temple, if obscure 
to them, conforms to his habits of thought and speech. As they 
understood his reply, it must have seemed extravagant. No 
wonder they said, "Forty and six years was this Temple in build- 
ing, and wilt thou rear it up in three days ? " The Temple prop- 
er had been completed in a 3^ear and a half after it was begun. 
But portions of the courts and various adjuncts had been forty- 
six years in hand, and, indeed, the work was still going on. 

During this Passover, Jesus became the centre of attraction. 
He both wrought miracles and taught, and no inconsiderable 
number were disposed to join him. But he saw that it was only 
an outward excitement, and had no root in moral conviction. 
He would not, therefore, draw them out, nor jDut himself at 
their head. There is evidence that his ministry produced an 
eftl'ct among the most thoughtful of the Pharisees. It was 
doubtless a matter of conference in the Sanhedrim and of con- 
versation among such Jews as had deep spiritual longings. In- 
deed, as soon as the night extricated Jesus from the crowd, and 

^ ^ 



gave him leisure for extended conversation, one of the noblest 
among the Pharisees, a ruler too, came to him. 

That one luckless phrase, " by night," has sent down to us 
the name of an honest and courageous Jew as one too timid 
to come openly, and who therefore sought to steal an inter- 
view under the cover of darkness, so as to avoid responsibility. 
There is not in the history of Nicodemus a single fact to justify 
such an imputation on his moral courage, except the single phrase 
that he came " by night." He appears but three times in the 
history, and every one of these occasions shows a calm, earnest, 
thoughtful man, undemonstrative, but firm and courageous. 

Is it the part of timidity that he, — though an eminent man, 
a member of the Sanhedrim, a Pharisee, with a reputation to 
sustain, — after witnessing Christ's works and listening to his 
teaching, came before all others the first to seek instruction? 
The night was chosen sim^^ly because then Jesus was no longer 
amid an excited multitude. The crowd was gone. He was free 
for protracted conference. When Avould a distressed soul, in 
our day, seek advice, — when the preacher was speaking in the 
full congregation, or afterward, when he could be found at home, 
and at leisure to consider a single case ? Nicodemus came in 
the true hour for converse. He came by night ; but he was 
the only one of all his fellows that came at all. 

The next scene in which Nicodemus appears is near the close 
of Christ's ministry. The rulers had become desperate. His 
death was resolved upon. It was now only a matter of hesita- 
tion how to compass it. In full council the Sanhedrim sat, 
w\aiting for Jesus to be arrested and brought before them. The 
ofticers brought word that they were overawed by his bearing 
and his teaching. The Pharisees Avere enraged. They inquired 
whether any of their ow^n party were going over to him. They 
cursed the common people as stupid and ignorant, and they 
reviled the delinquent officers. Was this the place and time 
in which a timid man would confront the whole official power 
of his people ? And yet one man in that council bravely spoke 
out, — " Doth our law judge any man before it hear him, and 
know what he doeth ? " That man was Nicodemus. 

He appears yet once more. It was after the crucifixion. All 
hope was over. The disciples were overawed, confounded, and 



scattered. There was not a man left in Jerusalem who would 
now think it prudent to identify himself with a lost cause ; it 
could help nothiug and would compromise the actor. Joseph 
of Arimathea begged of Pilate the • body of Jesus for honorable 
burial. "And there came also Nicodemus (which at the first 
came to Jesus by night), and brought a mixture of m3'rrli and 
aloes, about an hundred pound weight." Of Joseph, the Evan- 
gelist John says expressly that he was " a disciple of Jesus, 
but secreth^, for fear of the Jews." (John xix. 38, 39.) But 
not an intimation of this kind is made against Nicodemus. The 
phrase is ov\y, " he that came to Jesus by night " ; and again, 
" which at the first came to Jesus by night." 

Just such men as Peter and Nicodemus we have around us 
now. The one was eager and overflowing, the other calm and 
undemonstrative. In Peter, impulse was strongest; in Nicode- 
mus, reflection. Peter, rash and headstrong, was confused by 
real peril ; Nicodemus, cautious at the beginning, grew firmer 
and bolder as difficulties developed danger. 

This interview between Jesus and Nicodemus is profoundly 
interesting from the revelation which it gives of the character 
of the better men among the Pharisees, and also of the spiritual 
condition of the sincere and devout Jews. It is besides re- 
markable for the first disclosure made of the distinctive doc- 
trines of the new life then about to dawn. Nicodemus saluted 
Christ as if he were a Jewish rabbi, and confessed the effect 
wrought upon his mind by the sight of his miracles, but asked 
no questions. Jesus, striking at once to the heart of the matter, 
answered not his words nor even his thoughts, but his uncon- 
scious spiritual needs : " Except a man be born again, he cannot 
see the kingdom of God." That such a man as Nicodemus 
should take this as a literal physical re-birth gives surprising- 
evidence of the externality of his religious knowledge. He 
had not the faintest sense of the difference between external 
righteousness and internal holiness. He did not even under- 
stand enough of spirituality to accept the figure employed by 
Christ; and he needed, like a child, to have it explained that 
not a physical, but a moral, re-birth was meant. 

" That which is borx of the flesh is flesh ; 
That which is born of the Spirit is spirit " 




This is the root. In these words Jesus gave the fundamental 
philosophy of religion. Man is born into the material world 
with all those powers which are required for his physical and 
social well-being, ]3ut within him lie dormant the germs of a 
Divine nature. These can be developed only by the Spirit of 
God ; but when evolved they change the whole nature, give to 
man a new horizon, new force, scope, and vision. He will live 
thenceforth by a different class of faculties. Before, he lived 
by the forces Avhich nature developed through the senses. He 
was mainly a physical being. Afterwards, he will live through 
the forces developed by the Spirit of God, — forces whose ru- 
diments existed before, but whose growth and full power de- 
mand the energy and fire of the Divine soul. Like an exotic 
plant in a temperate zone, the soul without God bears only 
leaves. For blossoms and fruit there must be tropical heat and 
light, that we may " bring forth fruit unto God." 

Thus, in his very first recorded conversation, as clearly as 
at the end of his ministry, Jesus set forth the new era to which 
the soul of man was approaching. The conversation as record- 
ed has an unconscious dramatic element. An eminent Phari- 
see, whose life has been spent in attaining perfection, and 
who, in his own opinion, has almost reached it, but has not 
found satisfaction of his heart-hunger, is told that his whole 
life-work has been in a wrong direction, — he must begin anew. 
Like one who has gone upon a wrong road, he has been car- 
ried by every step away from his goal. He has sought moral 
perfectness by rigorous discipline in external things. He must 
reverse the process, and reinforce the soul. 

In the order of time, man develops from the sensuous to- 
wards the spiritual. But in the order of power and of self- 
government, that which is last must become first. The spirit 
must be formed and filled by the Divine soul. It is then in- 
spired. A new force is developed. A conflict ensues. The 
spirit striveth against the flesh, and the flesh lusteth against 
the spirit. But the whole moral nature is reinvigorated. It 
has become open and sensitive to truths and influences which 
before it did not perceive nor feel. 

Of course the whole conversation of the two is not recorded. 
Hours would not suffice, when once the soul had found its 




Master, to bring him into all the dark and troubled places 
within, where there had been sorrow and trouble of soul. The 
stars still rose and set ; but Nicodemus had found his new 
heaven and the guiding star of his future life. He marvelled. 
Nor did his wonder cease as his Master, step by step, unfolded 
the new life and the supremacy of the spiritual over the carnal. 
As Jesus with indistinct lines sketched his own history, his 
death, the life-giving power of faith in him, it may be sup- 
posed that his listener heard only, but did not understand. 

We are concerned with this earliest discourse of Jesus, be- 
cause its philosophy underlies the whole question of religion. 
It has two astonishing originalities. Men may stop suddenly 
in a career of evil, and be born again. The Ethiopian may 
change his skin, and the leopard his spots ! There is a power 
before which even habit cannot stand. It also reveals that a 
whole new development of sj)iritual life is possible to every 
one. Those inspirations which before have glanced upon a few, 
wiiich have been the privilege of genius, are now to become a 
free gift to all. The Holy Ghost is to carry a flood of light 
and energy to every soul that is Avilling. 

A crisis had come in the world's psychology. Reason was to 
receive a higher development, adding to the senses the power 
of foith. Faith, which is reason inspired to intuitions of su- 
persensuous truth, (not a blind credulity, but a new light, a 
higher reason, acting in a sphere above matter,) was thereafter 
to become developed into a stature and power of which the 
past had given but hints and glimpses. 

Jesus remained in Juda3a from April to December, or, as some 
think, till January. Nothing can more forcibly show how far 
the Gospels are from a close biography than the fact that this 
period, at the very opening of his public ministry, is not men- 
tioned by Matthew, Mark, and Luke, who do not even give an 
account of this visit to Jerusalem ; while John, from whom Ave 
derive all our knowledge of this visit, leaves the next four 
months, though the first months of the Saviour's public min- 
istry, without a record. " After these things came Jesus and 
his disciples into the land of Judcea." But they w^ere already 
in Jerusalem : it is therefore evident that they went out of 
the city into the adjacent parts, probably into the northeast of 

^- -ni 


Judaea. But even of that we are uncertain. " And there he 
tarried with them, and baptized." It is not said tvhere he bap- 
tized. It is added that John " was baptizing in ^Enon, because 
there was much water there." But where ^non was hardly 
any two investigators agree, — whether it was on the Jordan, 
or at certain copious springs, the source of a stream on its 
western side. It is not said that Jesus was near John. All 
is left to conjecture. It is quite certain that a period of from 
four to six months elapsed between his leaving Capernaum for 
the Passover at Jerusalem and his return to Galilee. Even 
of his doings there is no hint, except only of his baptizing ; 
and this was not performed by himself, but by the hands of 
his disciples. During these four or five months occurred the 
other annual feasts of the Jewish year, — the Pentecost and 
the Feast of Tabernacles. It is scarcely possible but that Je- 
sus, being near to Jerusalem, and habitually observant of the 
national customs, was present on these occasions in Jerusalem. 
Yet no mention is made of it. Nor is it said that he preached 
at all, or taught, or wrought a single miracle ; and yet it is 
scarcely supposable that, after having entered on his ministry, 
he should leave so many months utterly blank. It has been 
suggested by AndreAvs that during this period may have begun 
his acquaintance with the family of Lazarus, which afterward 
constituted so remarkable a feature of his history, and was the 
occasion of a miracle which gave the last impulse to the zeal 
of his opponents, leading to his arrest and death. 

If this reticence of the Evangelists arises from their pecu- 
liarly un-literary and non-historic genius, it is not unbecoming 
to the nature of Jesus. There was never so impersonal a per- 
son as he. Although to an extraordinary degree full of outward 
life and action, yet there was something in the elevation of 
his nature which abstracts our thoughts from the outward form 
of his life. As in the presence of a great picture we forget 
the canvas, the paint, and the brush, and think only of the 
events and objects themselves ; so Jesus leaves upon our minds 
the impression not of the journeys, the acts, the words even, 
but of the temper, the nobility of soul, the universal truths of 
his life and teachings. He detaches himself from the world in 
which he lived and through which he acted, as the perfume 

[&- ^ ^ 


of fragrant vines abandons the flowers in which it was distilled 
and fills the air. 

Jesus was full of a generous enthusiasm for his own coun- 
try and people. He was occupied until within two or three 
years of his death in mechanical labors peculiar to his place 
and time. He so shaped his teachings as to include in them 
all the truths then unfolded among his countrymen, and he 
identified himself with the common people in the use of their 
customs, pursuits, domestic habits, and language ; so that he 
was of all men a typical Jew, a Hebrew of the Hebrews. And 
yet his hfe, Avritten by four Evangelists, themselves Hebrews, 
produces the effect, not of nationality, but of universality. 

We do not think of him as a Jew, but as a man ; and each 
race appropriates him, as if he interpreted their truest and 
deepest conception of manhood. That which w\as peculiar to 
his age and country seems to have withered and dropped away, 
as leaves do when they have nourished the cluster, which could 
not have ripened without them, but which, being grown, is un- 
like them in form, in color, and in flavor. 

The only incident mentioned by the Evangelists in connec- 
tion with Christ's stay in Judaea is that he baptized there. Yet 
it is expressly said, " Jesus himself baptized not, but his dis- 
ciples." The use of water as a sign of ceremonial cleanness is 
as old as the institutes of Moses, and probably was borrowed 
from Egyptian customs. It may be said to be a custom almost 
universal among Oriental nations. It was natural that water 
should become in like manner a symbol and declaration of 
moral purity. In this important element, the baptism of John, 
the baptism of Jesus, and the baptism of the Apostles in the 
early Church are substantially one. There was, undoubtedly, 
a variation of formula. Paul says that John baptized a baptism 
of repentance, and made his converts promise obedience to the 
Saviour that was to come. No such formula could have been 
used in the presence of the Saviour himself Nor can we sup- 
pose that the apostolic formula, by which candidates were bap- 
tized into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, 
could have been unfolded at this early period. But whatever 
the formula, and whatever the specific variations, all these 
forms of baptism were essentially one, and were but a token 




and announcement of moral changes begun or promised. It 
was of powerful influence in giving decision and definiteness 
to moral reformation. Good resolutions without action soon 
melt away. Mere purposes of a better life change easily to 
dreams and reveries. But men Avho have openly declared 
their withdrawal from evil, and their adhesion to virtue and 
piety, are committed before their fellows. After an open es- 
pousal of religion, that pride and vanity which before resisted, 
now fortify men's zeal. 

It is, however, remarkable, that only in these early and 
obscure periods of his ministry, and while he was in John's 
neighborhood and surrounded by a community that had been 
aroused by that bold and stern reformer, did Christ continue 
in the use of baptism. There seems to have been a special 
reason why he should drop it. A dispute arose between John's 
disciples and those of Jesus " about purifying." What it was, 
is not said. It is supposed to relate to some form of bap- 
tizing. Where men had been trained in the school of the 
Pharisee, it would not be hard to find occasion of difference. 
The moral duty of accuracy in outward forms was the peculiar 
spirit of Pharisaism. Indifference to all religious forms, if only 
the interior reality be present, was the spirit of Christ. To 
him baptism was a secondary matter, incidental and declara- 
tory. It was not an initiation, but the sign of one. It con- 
veyed no moral change, but it was the profession of one. It 
was an act which required a disclosure of feeling, the manifes- 
tation of a purpose, commitment to a vital decision ; and so far 
as by this outward action men could be aided in the struggles 
of a new life, it was useful, — so far and no flirther. Already 
Jesus had expounded to Nicodemus the inoperative nature of 
baptism as a mere sign of reformation : " Except a man be born 
of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of 
God"; which is saying, in effect, Do not rest in the mere fact 
that you have been baptized. John, indeed, baptized to repen- 
tance and reformation. That is but the lowest step ; it is a 
mere shadow and symbol. Hast thou been baptized ? That 
is not enough. Except a man be born of water and of the 
Spirit, he cannot enter into the kino;dom of God. 

But this long dispute that had begun between the disciples 

^ -^ 


of Jesus and of John is not ended yet. Which of two bap- 
tisms is best, — either of which is good enough as a symbol, 
and neither of wdiich is good for anything else, — still en^-ao-es 
good men in conscientious and useless controversy. The Jews 
who had been baptized by John thought, doubtless, that they 
had been better baptized than those other Jews wdio had been 
baptized by the disciples of Jesus. It is ver}' likely that there 
was some slight difference in the way of handling the candi- 
dates. Doubtless the words spoken over them in the formula 
of baptism were a little different. But the Jews hiid Ijeen 
reared to a ceremonial worship, and had become verj' rio-orous 
in the observance of each slightest particular of an external 
service, lest the absence of any single particle would leave a 
leak through wdiich all the virtue would run out. Ceremonial- 
ism tends to scrupulosity, and scrupulosity to superstition, and 
superstition is idolatry. To this day men are yet camped down 
beside the Jordan, disputing about baptism ; and now, as then, 
in the full blaze of a system whose whole force is spiritual, 
disciples are divided, not even on an ordinance, but on the 
external method of its administration. Good men have in- 
trenched their consciences behind an externality of an exter- 
nality. Nor is the whole common spiritual wealth of Christian- 
ity able to unite men who have quarrelled over the husk and 
rind of a symbolical ordinance. 

There came near being two sects. It needed only that the 
leaders on this question of baptism should take sides with their 
disciples eflectually to split their common movement into two 
warring halves. Jesus, seeing the danger, not only left the 
neighborhood, but ceased baptizing. There is no record or hint 
from this day that any of his disciples, or even that his own 
Apostles, Avere baptized. 

It is never easy for a master to see his authority waning and 
another taking his place. Therefore when on this occasion 
John's disciples resorted to him, saying, " He that was with 
thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the 
same baptizeth, and all men come to him,'' we see in his answer 
a disposition w^orthy of the forerunner of Christ. Onl}' the no- 
blest natures so rejoice in the whole work of God on earth 
that they are willing to "spend and be spent" for the sake 

^- ^ 

r0- — ^ 


of the common good. John's camel's hair and food of the 
wilderness were well enough ; his stern morality and burning 
zeal in reforming his people were commendable ; but not all 
of them revealed his true nobility as did the rej^ly of this un- 
sectarian leader to his sectarian disciples : "I am not the Christ. 
I am sent before him. He must increase, I must decrease." 
Thus John yielded up his place, even as a flower falls and dies 
that it may give place to the fruit that swells beneath it. Nor 
ought we to lose the beauty of that figure which John em- 
ployed : " The friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and 
heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's 
voice : this my joy therefore is fulfilled." Jesus is the true 
bridegroom, I am only his groomsman ; but I make his hap- 
piness my own ! 

The time had come for Jesus to leave Judasa. Warned by 
these disputes of the danger of a useless controversy, and per- 
ceiving as well that his opportunity was not yet ripe, he pre- 
pared to go home to Galilee. He felt the access of a larger 
power. He had thus far pursued his work in a tentative way, 
and without displaying those Avonderful influences which so 
often afterward swej^t everything before him. But as when he 
came up from the Jordan the Spirit of God descended upon 
him ; so a second time, now on the eve of his great missionary 
circuit, his soul was wonderfully replenished and exalted. He 
rose to a higher sphere. He took one more step back toward 
his full original self A portion of that might and majesty 
which had been restrained by his mortal flesh was unfolding, 
and he was to work with a higher power and upon a higher 
plane than before. 

By weaving together from the four Evangelists the account 
of his departure, we shall get a clear view of the grounds on 
which the above remarks are founded. 

" Now after that John was put in prison, and Jesus had heard 
that he was cast into prison, and Avhen the Lord knew how the 
Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more dis- 
ciples than John (though Jesus himself baptized not, but his 
disciples), he left Judsea, and departed again, and returned in the 
poiver of the Spirit into Galilee^ 


fl- ^ — ^ 



FROM Jerusalem to Galilee the shortest and in many respects 
the most mteresting road ran directly north, along the high- 
est ridge of the Judaean hills. This table-land was comparatively 
narroAV. On the east, its flank was cut by deep ravines running 
down to the Jordan. On the west, another system of ravines 
ran down to the great maritime plain. Along the upper line 
between these gorges and valleys, the table-land was of variable 
breadth, and in the time of our Lord was clothed with trees 
and vines to an extent that can hardly be imagined by one 
who views it in its present barren and desolate state. 

This region, including the ravines and valleys shooting down 
on either hand from the ridge, may be called the military 
ground of Palestine. At almost every step one might here re- 
call some famous conflict. It was along this plateau that Joshua 
fought his chief battles. Here Saul triumphed, and here he was 
finall}^ overthrown and slain. Over this ground the ark went in 
captivity to Philistia. David fought over every inch of this 
territory, hid in its caves, wandered in its wilderness, and at 
length secured peace from his enemies through their final over- 
throw and subjugation. In his day Jerusalem, wholly wrested 
from the Jebusites, became the capital of the nation, Avliich 
reached the summit of its prosperity under the brilliant but 
delusive reign of Solomon. The glory of that reign Avas autum- 
nal, and presaged decay. 

The very names of towns and cities on either side of this great 
road are histories. Ai, — the first city conquered by Joshua, — 
Gibeah, Mizpeh, Michmash, Gibeon, Beth-horon, Bethel, Gilgal, 
Shiloh, Shechem, and many others, could hardly fail to call up 
to any mtelligent Jcav a host of historic remembrances. At 

[ft ^ 



Bethel (Luz) Abraham pitched his tent, finding then, as is still 
found, excellent pasturage ; and here he and Lot separated. 
This place was the annual resort of Samuel to jndge Israel. 
Here Jeroboam set up the golden calf, when he designed to 
draw away the ten tribes from the worship of Jehovah. It was 
a place of eminent sacredness in Jewish history, and the prophet 
Amos (v. 5) sadly and solemnly predicts its ruin. 

Under the palm-trees between Rama and Bethel, on the 
mount of Ephraim, the prophetess Deborah sat and judged Is- 
rael (Judges iv. 4, v. 12). It was hard by Bethel, but east- 
ward, that our Saviour, near the close of his life, took refuge 
in the city of Ephraim — Ephron and Ophrah of the Old Tes- 
tament — from the malice of his enemies in Jerusalem, and 
thence crossed over Jordan to Peroea. The names of Abraham, 
of Isaac, of Jacob, and of Jose-ph, — whose grave is near to 
Shechem, — are associated with ever}' step of the way. The 
lapse of time has obliterated for us a thousand monuments and 
landmarks which must have been fresh and vital in the day 
when our Lord passed by them. Each bald rock had its tale, 
every ravine its legend, ever}' mountain peak its history. The 
very trees, gnarled and lifted high on some signal hill, brought 
to mind many a stirring incident. This was the road over 
which Jesus himself had gone in his childhood with Mary and 
with Joseph. 

All modern travellers are enraptured with the beauty of the 
vale in which Shechem stands. Coming down from the Juda?an 
hills, from among rocky passes and stinted arboreous vegetation, 
the contrast at once presented of luxuriant fields of wheat and 
barley, the silvery green of olive-trees, the fig, the oak, together 
with the company of singing birds, would fill the sensitive mind 
with delight. Van de Velde presents a striking picture, not 
only of the beauty of the vale of Shechem, Ijut of the atmos- 
pheric appearance of Palestine in general, which is worthy of 

" The awful gorge of the Leontes is grand and bold beyond 
description ; the hills of Lebanon, over against Sidon, are mag- 
nificent and sublime ; the valley of the hill of Naphtali is rich 
in wild oak forest and brush-wood ; those of Aslier and Wady 
Kara, for example, present a beautiful combination of wood and 




mountain stream in all the magnificence of undisturbed origi- 
nality. Carmel, with its wilderness of timber trees and shrubs, 
of plants and bushes, still answers to its ancient reputation for 

" But the vale of Shechem differs from them all. Here there 
is no wilderness, here thei*e are no wild thickets, yet there is 
always verdure, — always shade, not of the oak, the terebinth, 
and the caroub-tree, but of the olive-grove, so soft in color, so 
picturesque in form, that for its sake we can willingly dispense 
with all other wood. 

" Here there are no impetuous mountain torrents, yet there 
is water, — water, too, in more copious sujDplies than anywhere 
else in the land ; and it is just to its many fountains, rills, and 
water-courses that the valley owes its exquisite beauty. 

" There is a singularity about the vale of Shechem, and that 
is the peculiar coloring which objects assume in it. You know 
that wherever there is water the air becomes charged with wat- 
ery particles, and that distant objects, beheld through that me- 
dium, seem to be enveloped in a pale blue or gray mist, such 
as contributes not a little to give a charm to the landscape. 
But it is precisely these atmospheric tints that we miss so much 
in Palestine. Fiery tints are to be seen both in the morning 
and the evening, and glittering violet or purple-colored hues 
where the light falls next to the long, deep shadows ; but there 
is an absence of coloring, and of that charming dusky haze in 
which objects assume such softly blended forms, and in which 
also the transition in color from the foreground to the farthest 
distance loses the hardness of outline peculiar to the perfect 
transparency of an Eastern sky. 

"It is otherwise in the vale of Shechem, at least in the 
morning and the evening. Here the exhalations remain hov- 
ering among the branches and leaves of the olive-trees, and 
hence that lovely bluish haze. 

"The valley is far from broad, not exceeding in some places 
a few hundred feet. This you find generally enclosed on all 
sides : there likewise the vapors are condensed. And so you 
advance under the shade of the foliag-e alonij: the livino; waters, 
and charmed by the melody of a host of singing birds, — for 
they, too, know where to find their best quarters, — while the 




perspective fades away, and is lost in the damp, vapory atmos- 
phere." 1 

At no other spot in Palestine, probably, could Jesus have more 
fitly uttered his remarkable doctrine of the absolute liberty of 
conscience from all thrall of place or tradition than here in She- 
chem, where the whole Jewish nation, in a peculiar sense, had 
its beginning. It was here that the great patriarch, Abraham, 
made his first halt in Canaan, coming down from Damascus and 
from Ur of the Chaldees, before any regular village existed 
except the huddled tents of Bedouins. Here he built an altar 
and worshipped. That faint smoke which lay in the air but 
for a moment against the background of Gerizim or Ebal was 
the prophecy of myriads of sacrificial fires in after ages, kindled 
in this land by his posterity, to that God who was then for the 
first time worshipped in Palestine. From Abraham to Christ 
had been a long and weary way ; but now the Messiah was 
come, the last sacrifice. Thenceforth neither in this mountain 
nor yet at Jerusalem should men Avorship God, but under 
every sky, in every spot where a true heart yearned or suf- 

It was here that Jacob first pitched his tent, having parted 
from Esau in safety, and come down to the Jordan through the 
valley cleft by the river Jabbok. " And he bought a parcel 
of a field, where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the 
children of Hamor, Shechem's father, for an hundred pieces of 
money. And he erected there an altar, and called it El-Elohe- 
IsRAEL." When the Israelites returned from Egypt and crossed 
the Jordan, they lay for a time in the valley, thrusting out an 
arm, as it were, to destroy the chief cities on the hills be- 
tween what is now Jerusalem and Shechem. But the first per- 
manent removal of the whole camp into the interior brought 
them to this vale, and here they discharged their sacred trust, 
and buried the bones of Joseph near the foot of the mountain. 
It is one of the few burial-places of the earlier heroes of the 
Hebrews which may be regarded as having been accurately pre- 
served by tradition. 

It was in this vale, and in the presence of these mountains, 
Gerizim on the south and Ebal on the north, that the most 

^ Van de Velde, I. 386, as quoted by Stanley. 


^ ■ ^ 


august assembly which history has ever recorded was gathered 
together. Before the tribes were separated and sent to their 
respective allotments of territory, while yet the people were 
living a camp life, — a vast camp of three million souls, — a 
movable city, a wandering state, a nomadic commonwealth, — 
it seemed desirable to produce upon their memory and their im- 
agination a solemn impression, that should not wear out for gen- 
erations, of their especial calling, of their eminent moral duties 
as a peculiar nation, the people of Jehovah. 

Into the narrow plain of Shechem came the whole nation. On 
the north stood precipitous Ebal, over against it on the south 
was Gerizim. The tribes were divided. Six tribes drew around 
the base and lined the sides of the one mountain, and six 
swarmed up, a million and a half of men, women, and children, 
upon the other ; the ark, the priests and Levites, standing mid- 
way between the two great mountains. Then the nation, Avitli 
a dramatic solemnity unparalleled, entered into a covenant with 
God. All other historic assemblages sink into insignificance com- 
pared with this. For grandeiu' it can be equalled only in the 
representation of the great final Judgment day and the gor- 
geous Apocalyptic visions. The whole Law was read by the 
Levites, to its last words. Nor, from the accounts of travellers, 
can there be a doubt that in the clear air of Palestine the 
human voice could make itself distinctly audible through all 
the vale and the mountain galleries, crowded with three million 
people. The most striking, as doubtless it was the most thrilling, 
part of the service followed the reading of the Law. Moses 
had drawn up an inventory of blessings which should come up- 
on the people if they kept the law ; and twice as many curses, 
of extraordinary variety and bitterness, if they were unfiiithful 
to the Law. As each blessing was promised, all the people on 
Gerizim shouted a cheerful Amen ! To the curses, a sullen Amen ! 
was echoed back from Ebal. Thus the mountains cried one to 
the other, like the sound of many waters, in thunders of curses 
and of blessings. 

For a long time Shechem served as a kind of capital; and 
even after Jerusalem had become the chief and royal city, coro- 
nations took place at Shechem, as if it had a relation to the 
nation's history which gave it peculiar sanctity. 

^ ^ 



Samaria was inhabited in the time of Christ by the descen- 
dants of heathen nations, sent thither by the king of Babjlon 
to replace the Jews, of whom the Lmd had been stripped bare 
by Shahnaneser, B. C. 721. They had, however, endeavored to 
adopt the Jewish worship without entirely relinquishing idola- 
try. Being repelled by the Jews from aU participation in the 
building of the Temple at Jerusalem, they had built a temple 
of their own upon Mount Gerizim, and claimed for it a sanctity 
even greater than that of Jerusalem. The enmity between the 
Jew and the Samaritan rose to such a pitch that they refused 
all intercourse with each other. The education of the Jew made 
him a very determined hater, and every patriotic impulse and 
the whole fervor of his religious feeling quickened and intensi- 
fied the hatred and contempt with which he looked upon a 
mongrel race who practised idolatry, the greatest crime known 
to the Jew, under the pretence of a rival worship of Jehovah. 
There is no passion so strong in human nature as an educated 
religious hatred. It was this national abhorrence that gave such 
audacity to the parable of the Good Samaritan, uttered by our 
Lord, and that marks the interview at Jacob's Avell. 

There is no means of determining with exactness at what 
time of the year Christ passed through Samaria, and conse- 
quently scholars fix the time all along from November to March. 
We incline to the opinion that it was not for from Decemljcr. 
With his few disciples, Jesus came from the mountain of Ephraim 
into the plain of Shechem, and of course approached the passage 
between Gerizim and Ebal at its eastern end. Robinson says 
that Jacob's well is " on the end of a low spur or swell running 
out from the northeastern base of Gerizim, and is still fifteen 
or twenty feet above the level of the plain below." The whole 
region around is ahve with natural springs. Seventy distinct 
fountains have been counted, some of them gushing with such 
force and abundance, that, after supplying many houses and 
gardens, the waste water is still sufficient to turn small mills. 

This very abundance of springs has given rise to the doubt- 
ing question, AYhy should Jacob dig a well ten feet in diameter, 
to the depth of eighty-five feet, through solid rock, for the sake 
of obtaining water, when already water bubbled up in extraor- 
dinary abundance on every side ? The reason doubtless was, 


[Q- : -^ 


that these natural fountains were already in possession of the 
native population, who would be jealous of a foreigner whose 
vast herds and flocks, and whose household servants and trained 
bands, indicated a power and prosperity which they did not 
altogether enjoy. In that land a well-spring was a valuable 
private property, held by families and tribes very much as coal 
and iron mines and water-powers are, in our day, owned by 
companies. Besides, in the watering of Jacob's great flocks there 
would be peculiar danger of quarrels and conflicts with native 
herdsmen. It was like Jacob — a pacific and sagacious manager, 
better fitted for keeping out of danger than for the display of 
courage and the love of fighting — to provide a well of his own, 
and thus to secure at the same time peace with his neighbors 
and personal independence. This well is among the few me- 
morials of the patriarchal period about which tradition is hardly 
suspected of lying. It is safe to accept it as a gift to posterity 
from the very hands of the most politic and worldly-A^nse of all 
the Jewish patriarchs. Around it his own flocks have flourished. 
He has himself stood at evenino; to see the ea^er herds rushino; 

o o o 

to the stone troughs to slake their thirst. In that burning land 
thirst was a torment, and its relief a great luxury. Indeed, 
there are few of the lower sensations of enjoyment known to 
man that equal the cup of cold water in the hour of thirst. 
And he is not fit for pastoral life who does not take pleasm^e 
in watching animals drink. We may be sure that Jacob often 
stood by the watering-troughs to direct the orderly administra- 
tion of things, and to watch the scene with quiet satisfjiction. 
Eagerly the cattle plunge their muzzles deep in the water. 
Tliey lift their heads for l^reath, the drops falling back to the 
trough, flashing in the evening light like opals. They drink 
again. They toss the water now with their lips in play. They 
draAV large draughts and stand long without swallowing, as if 
to cool their throats, and slowly turn away, now full satisfied, 
to couch down, with long-drawn iDreath, and rest for the night. 
It were well for us if these simple rural tastes could supj)lant 
the feverish pleasures of untimely liom-s in crowded towns, 
where less of nature and more of man work corruption of 
taste and of morals. 

We love to think of this old well and its long work of mercy. 

^ ^ 

[B— ^ 


Through hundreds and through thousands of years at its brink 
have stood old men, little children, weary pilgrims, fair maidens, 
grim warriors, stately sheiks, dusty travellers, — all sorts and 
conditions of the East and of the West. It gave forth its water 
to the good and bad alike. It not improbabl}' crowned its be- 
neficence by furnishing to the prophet the suggestion of '' wells 
of salvation," which in time were transferred to the ideal city, 
the great overhanging Home of mankind ; and the message of 
God in the Revelation closes with the voice of one crying to 
the whole earth, for all time, " And the Spirit and the bride 
saj^. Come. And let him that heareth say. Come. And let him 
that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the 
water of life freely." 

On the route which Jesus had chosen from Judsea to Galilee 
" he must needs pass through Samaria." It was the shortest 
and easiest road. Yet such was the animosity of Jews towards 
Samaritans that for the most part the Jews preferred the cir- 
cuitous road through Peraea, east of the Jordan. The Decem- 
ber sun was not so fervid as to forbid travelling through the 
whole day. It was about noon when Jesus came to Jacob's 
well. There was a stone platform about it, and doubtless other 
provision was made for the comfort of travellers. Here Jesus 
rested while his disciples went on to Sychar to buy food. The 
town of Shechem, like its modern successor Nablous, was two 
miles from the well, and Sjxhar was probably the name for a 
neighborhood attached to Shechem, but much nearer to the well. 
Ever}" considerable place will be found to have nicknames for 
such outlying settlements, and Sychar was probably such a one. 

Jesus had not been long there before a Samaritan woman ajD- 
proached to draw water, and was surprised that a stranger, and 
he a Jew, should say to her, " Give me to drink." Although 
an easy, good-natured creature, and too fond of society, no one 
should say that she had not shown a proper spirit in standing 
up for the right of all Samaritans to hate Jews ! " How is it 
that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, who am a woman 
of Samaria? " 

Christ was conscious of the contrast in himself between ap- 
pearance and reality. He felt the Divine nature within, yet to 
the eye there was no divinity. The woman's reply touched that 

a -ft 


consciousness of his real superior existence. "If thou knewest 
the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to 
drink, thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have 
given thee living water." 

We see in this conversation again the very same subtile play 
of thought between the material and its spiritual counterpart 
which was shown in the conversations with Nicodemus and with 
the questioners in the Temple. Jesus seems like one avIio 
thought on two different planes. He recognized the qualities 
and the substance of this world as they appeared to his follow- 
ers, while their outcome and value and meaning in the spirit- 
ual life was his real and inner interpretation of them. This 
doubleness we often see in parents, or in benevolent teachers of 
children, who go along with the child's understanding, and yet 
perceive that things are not as the child thinks them to be, and 
their consciousness plays back and forth between the child's 
imperfect sense of truth and their own truer judgment of reality. 

Jesus seemed to the woman to be talking about real water. 
The term "living water" has not necessarily a spiritual signifi- 
cance. Living water was perhaps to her ears spring-water, for 
nothing seems more alive than running water; and her mind 
was divided between respect and curiosity. At any rate, she 
now bethinks herself of his title, and calls him Master, or, as in 
the English version. Sir. " Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, 
and the well is deep : from whence then hast thou that living- 
water ? " And then looking upon the traveller, and in her mind 
contrasting his helpless appearance with the grand ideas enter- 
tained by her people of the old j)atriarch Jacob, she adds, with 
a spice of humor, '"'Art thou greater than our fiither Jacob, 
which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his 
children, and his cattle ? " Without doubt, she regarded this 
answer as peculiarly effective from a Samaritan to a Jew, inas- 
much as she had given him to understand, Jew as he was, that 
Jacob was also the Samaritan's father, and that the detested 
Samaritan owned the patriarch's very well, so that thirsty Jews 
were obliged to come begging a drink of the very people whom 
they despised as outcasts from Israel and out of covenant with 
God. If such was her feeling, the reply of Jesus put it all away, 
and brought her to a different mind. Without noticing her im- 

[^-^ ^ 



plied taunts, and now beginning to let her see that he was not 
talking of the water in Jacob's well, but of some other, — Avhat 
other she could not imagine, — he said: "Whosoever drinketh 
of this water shall thirst again : but whosoever drinketh of the 
water that I shall give him shall never thirst ; but the water that 
I shall give him shall be in him a well of Avater springing up into 
everlasting life." 

As the body thirsts, and is contented with water, so there is 
for unanswered yearning, for unsatisfied desires, for all that 
restlessness and craving of feeling, for the thirst of the soul, a liv- 
ing water which shall quiet them ; not as water quiets the body, 
that thirsts again in an hour, but with an abiding and eternal 
satisfaction. This is indeed that "gift of God" which, had she 
known, would have made her suppliant to him. Even yet how 
few know it ! How few among Christian believers have entered 
into that rest of soul, that trust and love, which come from the 
Divine Spirit, and which, when once the Holy Spirit has fully 
shined and brought summer to the soul, will never depart from 
it, but will be an eternal joy ! 

None of all this, however, did she understand. Perhaps, while 
Christ was speaking, she revolved in her mind the convenience 
of the new sort of water which this man spoke of, and what 
a treasure it would be if, when the summer came on, she need 
not trudge Avearily to this well. At any rate, she seems to have 
replied in a business-like spirit : " Sir, give me this water, that 
I thirst not, neither come hither to draw." There are many like 
her, who would be glad of such a Divine gift of religion as 
should take away all labor and trouble of Christian life. " That 
I come not hither to draw " is the desire of thousands who want 
the results of right living without the troul^le of living aright. 

But it was time to bring home the truth to her conscience, 
instead of discussing themes which this poor pleasure-loving 
creature could understand even less than Nicodemus. As if he 
were about to comply with her request for this gift of living 
water, (by which very likely she understood that he would dis- 
cover to her a new and near spring, bubbling up close at hand 
near her dwelling,) he says to her pointedly, " Go, call thy hus- 
band." There must have been in the tone and manner some- 
thing which startled her ; for evidently this adroit woman was, 

[fl ^ 


for the moment, thrown off her guard. Instead of waiving the 
demand, or seeming to evade it, she with some sense of shame 
hastily rej^Ued, " I have no husband." Like an arrow well aimed 
from a strong bow the words of Jesus struck home to her eon- 
science. " Thou hast well said, I have no husband : for thou hast 
had five husbands ; and he whom thou now hast is not thy hus- 
band : in that saidst thou truly." 

It was but a second of confusion. The woman was of nimble 
thought, and had been practised in quick ways. There is great 
diplomacy in her recognizing the truth of the allegation in a 
way of compliment to this stranger, rather than of shame to 
herself : " Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet." And then, 
with fluent dexterity, she eludes the personal topic and glides 
into the stock argument between the Jew and the Samaritan. 
Nor can we help noticing the consummate tact with which she 
managed her case. "Our fathers worshipped in this mountain." 
And there, right before them, rose Mount Gerizim, its temple 
blazing in the midday sun, and beginning already to cast its 
shadows somewhat toward the east. The argument, too, of "our 
fathers" has always proved strong. Opinions, like electricity, are 
supposed to descend more safely along an unbroken chain. That 
which " our fathers " or our ancestors believed is apt to seem 
necessarily true ; and the longer the roots of any belief, the more 
flourishing, it is supposed, will be its top. "Our fathers Avor- 
shipped in this mountain, and ye say that in Jerusalem is the 
place where men ought to worship." This was the bone of con- 
tention. Worship had ceased to be the offering of the heart, 
and had become a superstition of places and external methods. 

The reply of Jesus is striking in its appeal to her for cre- 
dence : "Woman, believe me, the hour 'cometh, when ye shall 
neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship) the 
Father." This answer was not in the spirit of the Greek phi- 
losophy, which was the parent of scepticism ; nor in the Orien- 
tal spirit, which was full of superstition ; nor in the Roman spirit, 
which was essentially worldly and unreligious ; and far less did 
it breathe the contemporary Jewish spirit, whether of Pharisee 
or of Sadducee. It expresses the renunciation of the senses in 
worship. It throws back upon the heart and soul of every one, 
whoever he may be, wherever he may be, the whole oflice of 



worship. It is the first gleam of the new morning. No longer 
in this nest alone, or in that, shall religion be looked for, but, 
escaping from its shell, heard in all the earth, in notes the 
same in every language, flying unrestrained and free, the whole 
heavens shall be its sphere and the whole earth its home. 

But, for a moment restraining these imperial views, Jesus de- 
clares that in so far as the truth taught at Mount Zion is to 
be compared with that at Gerizim, Jerusalem is nearer the truth 
of God than Shechem. "Ye worship ye know not what: we 
know what we worship ; for salvation is of the Jews." He thus 
authenticates the religion of the old dispensation, identifies him- 
self with the Jews as distinguished from the Samaritans, and 
witnesses to the essential truth of their views of God and of 
Divine government. Resuming again the theme of religion set 
free from all external constraints and all superstitions of place 
and method, he adds : " But the hour cometh, and now is, 
when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit 
and in truth : for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God 
is a spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit 
and in truth." Henceforth religion shall be personal, not official. 

Sobered by the impressive manner of Jesus, and having an 
indistinct feeling of a great truth in his teaching, the woman 
waives the dispute, and, catching at his repeated allusion to 
the new coming future, safely closes her part in saying, " I 
know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ : when he is 
come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that 
speak unto thee am he." But just then came the disciples, and 
we have never ceased to wish that they had stayed away a little 
longer, for the conversation had reached a point at which one is 
breathless for the next sentence. The disciples were curious 
and surprised to find their Master thus engaged, and would 
have asked inquisitively what he was talking about ; but there 
was something in his manner which checked familiarity. "No 
man said, "Why talkest thou with her ? " 

Whether Jesus received at the hands of the woman the cov- 
eted draught of water, we know not. Carried away by the 
thoughts of the new heaven and the new earth, in the glo- 
rious efflux of the spirit of life and liberty he may have for- 
gotten his bodily thirst. 





It is certain that the excitement of his soul so wrought upon 
his body as to take away his desire for food, for, when his dis- 
ciples urged him to eat, his enigmatical reply was, " I have 
meat to eat that ye know not of" And they, in their sim- 
plicity, asked Avhether any one had brought food to him. Then 
he declared that not bread, but work, was his food. He felt the 
power of the Spirit. His own spirit was kindled, and streamed 
forth toward the field of labor, which was ripe and waiting for 
the sickle of the truth. The vale of Shechem was famous for 
its grain-fields. They stretched out before his eye in the ten- 
der green of their first sprouting. Seizing the scene before 
him, as he was wont to do for figure, parable, or theme, he 
said, " Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh 
harvest ? behold, I say unto you. Lift up your eyes and look on 
the fields ; for they are white already to harvest." 

Thus, while his words seemed to hold on to the visible field 
of young grain, his meaning had really glanced off to the tran- 
scendent field of moral life. We saw the same method in his 
reply to the scribes in the Temple, and we shall find it a pe- 
culiarity of his genius, which appears in all the Gospels, but 
which John alone seems to have reproduced fully. 

The woman was profoundly affected by the surprising inter- 
view. Slie hastened back to her friends, not to boast a tri- 
umph, but to call them out to see a man " that told me all 
things that ever I did." There are certain experiences which 
stand for the whole of one's life. It may be a great love, or 
a great defeat and mortification, or a great crime, or a meas- 
ureless sorrow, or a joy lost irrecoverably ; whatever it may 
be, there are experiences which epitomize our whole life, and 
represent to our memory the very substance of life, every- 
thing besides being incidental and accessory. And he that 
touches that hidden life seems to have revealed everything. 
This woman's domestic career had been such as to show the 
channel in which her nature ran. A single sentence told her 
that the stranger knew her spirit and disposition. It was not 
his words alone, but with them there was a judicial solemnity, 
a piercing eye that seemed to her to search her very soul, a 
manner which showed that he sorrowed for her, while he was 
exposing her career. And yet she had lived unabashed and 


-. : ^ 


content with herself. The wliole narrative shows a woman not 
utterly sunk in evil, careful yet of appearances, — a woman 
quick of thought, fertile in expedient, and possessed of much 
natural force, — just such a one as might have had five hus- 
bands. Love had not taught her delicacy or purity. One does 
not think pleasantly of five successive marriages, and is not sur- 
prised that her last choice had not even the pretence of mar- 
riage. Yet this shrewd but pleasure-loving w^oman could not 
refrain among her townspeople from crying out, " Is not this 
the Christ ? " Thereupon the citizens rushed out '' and came 
unto him"; they surrounded him with entreaties — he too a 
Jew, and they Samaritans ! — that he would come home with 
them and tarry. For two days he stayed with them. His 
works and his discourses are not recorded. The effects of them, 
however, are : many believed ; many whose curiosity had been 
excited by the enthusiasm of the woman exchanged curiosity 
for a moral conviction that this was indeed the Christ, the 
Saviour of the world. 

We thus behold Jesus at the beginning of his more open min- 
istry setting himself against the secularization of the Temple 
and the superficial morality of the Pharisee, turning his back 
upon Jerusalem, and with it upon the strongest national pas- 
sion, namely, the sense of superlative Jewish excellence, and 
the bitter hatred of Gentiles, and, above all other Gentiles, of 
the Samaritans. Patriotism among the Jews had lost all kindli- 
ness, and was made up of intense conceit and hatred. To resist 
this spirit, according to all worldly calculations, was to subject 
himself and his cause, in the very beginning, to overwhelming 
obloquy. Of this Jesus could not have been ignorant. He 
needed no experience to teach him that his countrymen, by a 
vicious interpretation of their Scriptures, and by their peculiar 
sufferings in captivity and under the yoke at home, had come 
to regard a malign and bitter hatred of all Gentiles not only 
as compatible with religion, but as the critical exercise of it, 
as the fulfilment of its innermost spirit. " Thou shalt love thy 
neighbor, and hate thine enemy." 

Even common prudence, the simple instinct of safety, would 
have inclined a mere man to avoid offending, at any rate on 
the threshold, the strongest impulses of the most religious por- 

[g- ^ ^ ^ 


tion of his people, especially when it needed only that he 
should take the right-hand road and go by the valley of the 
Jordan, or through Pera3a to Galilee, instead of going through 
Samaria. But he chose to go through Samaria. When a wo- 
man doubly abhorrent to the precisionists — both as a Samari- 
tan and as one of loose morals — drew near him, he asked the 
boon of water, and thus gave her leave to enter into conver- 
sation with him, and treated her, not as a sinner, but as a 
human being, all the more needy because she Avas culpable ; 
he sent his disciples to buy food at a Samaritan town, though 
"the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans"; and finally, 
though right from Jerusalem and from the Temple, to the hor- 
ror of every right-minded Pharisee he accepted the hospitality 
of the Samaritans, slept under their roofs, ate at their tables, 
taught in their streets, and altogether treated them as if they 
were as good as Jews ! 

Here, then, " the middle wall of partition " began to be 
broken down. In the Temple, between the Court of the Gen- 
tiles and the next inner court described in our last chapter, 
was a marble screen or curiously carved fence, some two feet 
high, be^^ond which no Gentile could venture. Had a Samari- 
tan put his foot inside of that " wall of partition " he would 
have been whirled away in a fury of rage, and stoned to death 
in the twinkling of an eye. But Jesus was treading down 
that partition wall. He that was himself the spiritual coun- 
terpart of the Temple was admitting Samaritans within the 
pale of Divine sympathy and love. 

This visit in Samaria is of singular importance, at the open- 
ing of Christ's ministry, in two respects : first, as a deliberate re- 
pudiation and rebuke of the exclusiveness of the Jewish Church ; 
and secondly, and even more significantly, as to the humane 
manner of his treatment of a sinnini>: woman. He knew her 
tainted life. . He knew that the whole world smiles upon the 
act of degrading a woman, and that the whole world puts the 
double sin upon her alone, hardly esteeming her paramour guilty 
at all, but counting her sin utterly unforgivable. He who after- 
wards said, " The publicans and harlots shall go into the king- 
dom of God before you," here made it manifest that sin does 
not remove the sinner from Divine sympathy and love. Christ 

^ ^ 



treated not this careless, shrewd, dexterous woman of the world 
Avith scorn or bitter reljuke. He made himself her companion. 
That which was Divine in him had fellowship with that wliich 
was human in her. His soul went out to her, not as a lire to 
consume, but as a purifying flame. This experience was a fit 
prelude to his now opening public life. It was the text from 
wdiich flowed two distinguishing elements of his ministr}^, — 
sympathy for mankind, and the tenderest compassion for those 
who have sinned and stumbled. It revealed God's heart, sent 
the prophetic beam of reconciliation to each soul, and was the 
promise of that one family in Christ Jesus that was to comjDrise 
every nation and people on the globe. 

It has been objected to this narrative, that it is not probable 
that Jesus would have gone into such profound discourse with a 
woman, a stranger, not capable of understanding his meaning, 
and Avholly unwortliy, in any point of view, of receiving such 
attention. It certainly is not probable, if we reason according 
to the common tendencies of human nature. Men reserve their 
fine speeches for fine men, and their philosophy for philosophers. 
Had the mission of Christ followed human notions, it would have 
differed in every particular from its real history. But certainly 
this elevated doctrine delivered to the light-living woman of 
Samaria is in strict analogy with the other acts of Jesus. Mod- 
ern critics are not the first to make such objections to his career. 
His contemporaries reproached him for this very thing, namely, 
consorting with publicans and sinners, and he made the noble 
reply, " I came not to call the righteous, but sinners, to repen- 
tance." If to any this familiarity seems discordant and repul- 
sive, they have occasion to look well to their own hearts. Such 
a course would be apt to offend pride and spiritual conceit; it 
could not but harmonize ^vith a spirit of pure benevolence. 

It is interesting to contrast these two conversations of Jesus, 
that with Nicodemus and that wdth the nameless woman of Sa- 
maria. Nicodemus was a man of rank and consideration ; the 
woman was of the lower order of an outcast people. He w\as 
cultivated, reflective, and eminently moral ; she Avas ignorant, 
unspiritual, and imvirtuous. Far apart as they w^ere in all ex- 
ternal proprieties, both of them had been caught in the snare of 
selfishness. He had built up a life for himself, and she for her- 


a — — ^ ^ 


self. He was selfish through his intellectual and moral nature, 
and she through her senses and passions. Outwardly they were 
far apart ; as a member of society she fell sadly below him ; but 
in the sight of God both were alike sinful. It Avas not needful 
to argue this with her ; conscience already condemned her. But 
to Nicodemus it was necessary to say, " Ye must be born again." 
He was probably more surprised at the truth when he under- 
stood its spiritual meaning than when he stumbled at it as a 
physiological proposition. There is but one message to the high 
and to the low. All are crude, undeveloped, sinful. Only by 
the Spirit of God can any one rise to that true Hfe, whose fruit 
is truth and purity, joy and peace. 

We are not to claim originality for the truths disclosed in 
the discourse at the Avell. The spirituality of God, the fact that 
religion is an affection of the soul, and not a routine of action, — 
that God is a universal God, the same everywhere, accessible to 
all of every nation without other labor than that of Ufting up 
pure thoughts to him, and that he dwells in heaven yet is pres- 
ent everywhere, so that no one need seek him on the high 
mountain, nor in any special temple, but may find him near, 
in their very hearts, — this was taught by all the prophets, — 
by Samuel as really as by Isaiah, by Moses as clearly as by his 

But the knowledge was practically lost. If the clearer minds 
of a few discerned it, yet it was to the many indistinct, being 
veiled, and even buried, by the ritual, the priestly offices, and 
the superstitious sanctity given to temples and altars. Men felt 
that in some mysterious way they derived a fitness to approach 
God by what the altar, the priest, or the influences of the sacred 
place did for them. That a holy God demanded purity in those 
who approached him, they knew ; but they did not realize that 
he himself purified by his very presence those who came to him. 

The filial relationship of every human heart to God did not 
enter the moral consciousness of men until they learned it in 
Jesus Christ. In him every man became a priest, his heart an 
altar, and his love and obedience the only offerings required. 
Men were loosed from the ministration of ordinances, of rituals, 
of days, moons, and the whole paraphernalia of a gorgeous and 
laborious external system, and henceforth the poor, the untaught, 



the sinful, had a God near at hand and easy of access. He was 
no longer to be regarded as a monarch, but as a Father. No 
lonti-er was it to be taught that he reigned to levy exactions, 
but to pour boundless treasure out of his own heart upon the 
needy. God sought those who before sought him. The priest 
stood no nearer to God than the humblest peasant. God was as 
near to the Magdalen as to the Virgin Mary. He was pre- 
sented to the heart and imagination as the great Helper. 

The qualification for approach to him was simply need. They 
stood nearest to Divine mercy that needed most. 


PLAIN OF MANEH (Maluinaim). 



BAD as the Samaritans were esteemed to be by the Jews, 
they excelled the people of Jerusalem both m cordial re- 
ception of the truth and in hospitality. There is no narrative 
of Christ's words or actions during the two days which he was 
persuaded to tarry in Samaria, but some idea may be formed of 
his teachino-s from the conversations held with Nicodemus and 
with the Woman at the Well. The lost discourses of Jesus were 
far more numerous than those which have been preserved, and 
one cannot refrain from regret that so much inimitable teach- 
ing served but the purpose of the hour, and passed out of mind 
without an authentic memorial. 

Leaving Samaria, he bent his steps toward Galilee as toward 
a shelter. Although it was like drawing near to his home, yet 
his original home, Nazareth, seems never to have had attrac- 
tions for him, or to have deserved his regard. He gave as a 
reason for not returning there, that a "prophet hath no honor 
in his own country." But he was cordially received in other 
parts of Galilee. The echo of his doings in Jerusalem had come 
down to the provinces. Many Jews from this region had been 
at Jerusalem, and had both heard him and seen his works. 

What was probably more to the purpose, they had heard the 
opinions of the chief men of the Temple, who, though in watch- 
ful suspense, were hoping that he might prove to be the longed 

[fi-^ -gj 


for Leader and Deliverer. The tacit approval of the Scribes 
and Pharisees of Jerusalem would go far with the devout pro- 
vincial Jews. 

Probably attracted by the cordiality of friends in Cana, wlicre 
he had wrought his first miracle, Jesus repaired thither. But 
he had now become a celebrity. It was knoAvn in all the region 
that he had returned from Jerusalem. And here we come upon 
one of those striking scenes of which we shall see so many 
during his career, — pictures they seem, rather than histories. 
Out of the nameless crowd some strikino; fi":ure emero-es, — a 
ruler, a centurion, a maniac, a foreign woman. Under the eye 
of Christ these personages glow for a moment with intense in- 
dividuality, and then sink back into obscurity. No history 
precedes them ; no after account of them is given. Like the 
pictures which the magic lantern throws upon the screen, they 
seem to come from the air and to melt again into nothing ; 
and yet, while they remain, every line is distinct and every 
color intense. 

Such a picture is that afforded by the courtier of Capernaum. 
A "nobleman" he is miscalled in the English version; prob- 
ably he was only a house-officer under Herod Antipas, but with 
some pretensions to influence. In common with others, he had 
heard of Jesus ; and, as rumor always exaggerates, he doubtless 
supposed that the new prophet had performed more cures than 
at that time he had done. This ofHcer, who would at other times 
have listened to Jesus only as a fashionable man would listen 
to a wandering magician, for the diversion of a spare moment, 
had a son lying at the point of death Avitli a fever, — that 
plague of Capernaum. Sorrow makes men sincere, and anguish 
makes them earnest. The courtier sought out this Jesus ; and 
as in critical danger the jDroudest men are suppliant to the 
physician, so he " besought him that he would come down and 
heal his son." To heal that boy was easy ; yet, as if the boon 
were far too small for the generosity of his heart, Jesus pur- 
posed not only to restore the child to his parent, but to send 
back a more excellent father to the child. And so, that he 
might awaken his better nature and prepare him to receive the 
bounty, not as a matter of course but as a gift of God, he 
dealt with his petitioner as fond parents do with their children, 

^ ^ 

[fl -& 


when they excite their eagerness and their pleasure by holding 
the coveted gift above their reach, and cause them to vibrate 
between desire and doubt. "Except ye see signs and wonders, 
ye ^vi\\ not believe." 

The mere thought of losing his boy through an unbeliev- 
ing spirit seemed to touch the father's very heart, and with- 
out protestations he showed his faith by bursting out into an 
agony of imperious persuasion : " Sir, come down ere my child 
die I " 

It was enough. The fountain Avas stirred. Jesus did better 
than he w\as asked. Instead of going to Ca23ernaum, twenty- 
five miles distant, his spirit darted healing power, and he dis- 
missed the believing parent: "Go thy way; thy son liveth." 

That the father believed truly is plain in that he accepted 
the word without a doubt, and turned homew^ard with all haste, 
as one who fears no evil. It was about one o'clock when the 
conference with Christ took place ; and the next day in the 
afternoon, as he was on the road, his servants met him with 
"Thy son liveth," and upon inquiry they informed him that 
" yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him." This is 
the more remarkable, because it departed in the very heat and 
glow of the day, as well as at the very hour when Jesus said, 
" Thy son liveth." From that moment the courtier became a 
believing disciple, and with him his wdiole household. Thus 
the passing sickness of one is blessed to the spiritual restora- 
tion of a whole family. Sorrows are often precursors of mercy. 
Those are blessed troubles which bring Christ to us. But for 
that boy's deathly sickness, the father might have missed his 
own immortality. By it he saved his own soul and the souls 
of his household, and not only recovered his son, but dwells 
with him eternally. For " himself believed, and his whole 
house." ^ 

' Many commentators have supposed that this incident is the same as that recorded 
by Matthew and Luke. (Matt. viii. 5-13; Luke vii. 1-10.) But the differences are 
utterly irreconcilable. In one case it was a Roman centurion, in the other an officer of 
Herod's household, that solicited Christ's interference. Tlie courtier's son was sick ; the 
centurion's se>-vant. The centurion sent the elders of the Jews to Jesus ; the courtier 
came himself. The courtier besought Christ to come to his house, but his child was 
healed from a distance ; Jesus offered to go to the centurion's house, but, with extreme 
humility, that officer declared himself unworthy of such a guest, and besought him, with 
a striking military figure, to Ileal his servant by a word. The points of resemblance are 

^ -# 



But the time must come when Jesus should preach in the 
town where his childhood and much of his early manhood were 
spent. Not long after this act of mercy to the servant of Herod, 
Jesus came to Nazareth. On the Sabbath he entered the syna- 
gogue ftimiliar to him from his youth. The scene which took 
place is one of the most remarkable in this period of his his- 
tory. His life was imperilled in an unlooked for uproar which 
broke out in the synagogue when he was conducting the service. 
For the Jewish synagogue had no ordained and regular minis- 
ter; the ruler, and in his absence the elders, twelve of whom 
sat upon the platform where the reading-desk was placed, called 
from the congregation any person of suitable age and character 
who could read lluently and expound with propriety the lessons 

of the Law and the Prophets.^ 


few, and such as might easily occur where so many miracles were wrouj;ht. The diver- 
gences are so marked that to make the cases one and the same would introduce difficulties 
where none really exist, except in the imagination of commentators. 

' We quote a brief extract from Kitto's Biblical Cydopadia (Art. " Synagogue," by 
Christian D. Ginsburg), to illustrate the reading of the Scriptures by Christ : — 

" To give unity and harmony to the worshij), as well as to enable the congregation to 
take part in the responses, it was absoluti'ly necessary to have one who should lead the 
worship. Hence, as soon as the legal number required for public worship had assembled, 
the ruler of the synagogue, or in his absence the elders, delegated one of the congregation 
to go up before the ark to conduct divine service. 

" The function of the apostle of the ecclesia was not permanently vested in any single 
individual ordained for this purpose, but was alternately conferred upon any lay member 
who was supposed to possess the qualifications necessary for offering up prayer in the 
name of the congregation. Tliis is evident from the reiterated declarations both in the 
Mishna and the Talmud. 

" Thus we are told that any one who is not under thirteen years of age, and whose 
garments are not in rags, may officiate before the ark ; that ' if one is before the ark 
(ministers for the congregation), and makes a mistake (in the prayer), another one is to 
minister in his stead, and he is not to decline it on such an occasion.' ' The sages have 
transmitted that he who is asked to conduct public worship is to delay a little at first, 
saying that he is unworthy of it ; and if he does not delay he is like unto a dish wherein 
is no salt, and if he delays more than is necessary he is like unto a dish which the salt 
hath spoiled.' 

" IIow is he to do it ? The first time he is asked, he is to decline ; the second time, 
he is to stir ; and the third time, he is to move his legs and ascend before the ark. Even 
on the most solemn occasions when the Avhole congregation fasted and assembled with the 
president and vice-president of the Sanhedrim for national humiliation and prayer, no 
stated minister is spoken of; but it is said that one of the aged men present is to de- 
liver a penitential address, and another is to offer up the solemn prayers. 

" It was afterwards orda'ned that, ' even if an elder or sage is present in the congre- 
gation, he is not to be asked to officiate before the ark, but that man is to be delegated 
who is apt to officiate, who has children, whose fixmily are free from vice, who has a 
proper beard, whose garments are decent, who is acceptable to the people, who has a 

a ^ — - 


On the morning of the Sabbath referred to, Jesus was called 
to conduct the service. After the liturgical services were fin- 
ished, which consisted of Psalms and prayers, said and chanted 
responsively by the reader and the congregation, he proceed- 
ed to read the lesson for the day from the Prophets. It so 
happened that Isaiah was read, and the portion for the day 
contained these remarkable words, mainly as rendered in the 
Septuagint : — 

" The spirit of the Lord is upon me, 
Because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; 
He hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, 
To preach deliverance to the captives, 
And recovering of sight to the blind, 
To set at liberty them that are bruised, 
To preach the acceptable year of the Lord." 

To understand the force of these words, one must read the 
context in the sixtieth chapter of Isaiah, and consider that it 
is the culmination of all the glowing promises of this great 
prophet respecting the Messiah. When Jesus had finished read- 
ing and had shut the book, there seems to have come over him 
a change such as his countenance often assumed. Before he 
uttered a word further, such was his appearance that '"' the eyes 
of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him." 
Nor was the wonder decreased when he broke silence, saying, 
"This clay is this scripture fulfilled in your ears." There must 
have been not only great majesty in his manner, but also great 
sweetness, for a thrill went through the audience, and they all 
" bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which 
proceeded out of his mouth " : nothing could so touch the Jew- 
ish heart as an intimation that the Messiah Avas near or was 

It was but a transient feeling, more a testimony to the power 
of him who was teaching than to their own docility ; for in a 
moment more it came over the congregation, that, after all, this 
was but their old townsman. Their vanity was wounded, and 
the more vulgar among them began to whisper, " Is not this 
Joseph's son ? " " Is not this the carpenter's son ? " Others con- 
good and amiable voice, who understands how to read the Law, the Prophets, and the 
Hagiographa, who is versed in the homiletic, legal, and traditional exegesis, and who 
knows all the benedictions of the service.' " 

[Sr ^ 


firmed it, for " Is not his mother called Mary ? " P^verybody 
knew him and his family, and the poor way in which they 
had always lived. They knew " his brethren, James and Joses 
and Simon and Judas, and his sisters." Out of such a common 
set it was not likely that a prophet would arise, particularly 
when it was known how little education Jesus had received. 
Where did he get his learning ? How should our plain towns- 
man be able to do the mighty works that we have heard of his 
performing ? " Whence hath this man this wisdom ? " 

Jesus did not resent their unfavorable speeches concerning his 
mother and her family. Had he chosen, he could have made 
his townsmen enthusiastic in his behalf, by doing some '' mighty 
work" which, making Nazareth famous, would give every one 
of his old neighbors some participation in its glory. But already 
pride and vanity were their bane. It was better that they 
should be mortified, and not intiated still more. Jesus perceived 
their spirit, and revealed it in his reply : " Ye will surely say 
unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we 
have heard done in Ca2)ernaum, do also here in thy country." 
That is. You do not care for me, or for the truth ; but you are 
jealous of a neighboring town, and angry because 1 do not make 
as much of Nazareth as of Capernaum. You think that I am 
not a Divine teacher because I pass by my own town. But 
thus God often administers. He passed by the whole Jewish 
nation, when, during the great famine, by his prophet Elijah he 
held counnunion with a Phoenician widow, though there was 
many a Hebrew widow in the land. Also he passed by the 
thousands of lepers in that region, and healed a Syrian, Naaman, 
who was at that very time chief officer to a heathen king holding 
Israel in subjugation. 

These Avords were like flame upon stubble. The love of 
country among the Jews was a fanaticism. It carried with it 
a burning hatred of foreigners, as heathen, which no prudence 
could restrain. Every year this ferocious spirit broke out, and 
was put down by the slaughter of hundreds and thousands of 
Jews. It made no difference. Like the internal fires of the 
globe, it burned on, even when no erujDtion made it manifest. 
The historical facts alleged could not be gainsaid ; but the use 
of them to show that God cared for other nations, even at the 

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expense of the Jews, produced a burst of uncontrollable fury. 
The meetmg broke up in a fierce tumult. Jesus was seized by 
the enraged crowd that went shouting through the street, and 
hurried toward one of the many precipitous ledges of the moun- 
tainous hill on whose sides Nazareth was built, that they might 
cast him down headlong. They were dragging him hastily on- 
ward, when, behold, the men let go their hold, and no one dared 
to brave his eye. "Passhig through the midst of them, he went 
his way." ^ 

It may seem to be not in accordance with the manifest pru- 
dence of Jesus to bring on an attack by such pungent discourse 
in his own town, when he had just left Judgea on account of 
the danger of collision with the leading men, and had taken 
refuge in Galilee as being safer, and as affording him oppor- 
tunity to unfold the great spiritual truths which carried the 
world's life in them. Where and when he should preach were 
certainly matters of discretion ; but tvhat he should preach could 
not be left to expediency. That his truth would be disagree- 
able to his hearers, and provoke opposition, never deterred him 
from pungent personal discourse. If the resistance was such as 
to be likely to bring his ministry prematurely to an end, he 
removed to some other place, but did not change the search- 
ing character of his teaching. The outburst of wounded vanity 
and of fanatical religious zeal among his ignorant and turbulent 
fellow-townsmen would have little effect outside of Nazareth. 
Such an uproar in Jerusalem might have driven him from Ju- 
dsea, and even from Palestine. Nazareth was not Jerusalem. 

Much question has arisen respecting the position of the de- 
clivity toward which the enraged Jews w^ere bearing Jesus. 
From the modern village, it is two miles to the precipice which 
overhangs the valley of Esdraelon. Thomson says that near to 
this precipice his guide pointed out the ruins of the ancient 

1 This scene is given by Luke (iv. 16-30) and by Matthew (xiii. 53-58). Many com- 
mentators regard these as separate occasions, placing the scene as given by Matthew 
much later in the history. It seems scarcely possible that two visits should have been 
made to Nazareth, not only with the same general results, but with questions and answers 
almost identical ; especially that the proverb used by Jesus in reply to his envious towns- 
men should serve both occasions. There are no difficulties which compel the harmonist 
to make two separate scenes of this kind, and every probability requires them to be the 
same ; though, in narration, each EvaugeUst, as would be natural, gives some particulars 
omitted by the other. 





village of Nazareth, which in that case was much farther south 
than the present site. But the point is not essential. Naza- 
reth is built upon the side of a mountainous ridge, which, 
wdierever the ancient village was placed, — for it was but ii 
hamlet, — furnishes enough places for the purpose intended by 
the Nazarenes. It was not for landscape effect, but for an ex- 
ecution, that the crowd were looking for a ledge, and twenty 
feet was as good for such a purpose as fifty; especially if the 
plunge were followed by stones, — a method of terminating a 
discussion with which the Jews were quite fiimiliar.^ 

NEAR MAROMTl, CHURCH (Nuzai tth). 

^ W. H. Dixon, in The Hohj Land, gives a striking view of Nazareth : — 
" Four miles south of the strong Greek city of Saphoris, hidden away among gentle 
hills, then covered from the base to the crown with vineyards and fig-trees, lay a natural 
nest, or basin, of rich red and white earth, star-like in shape, about a mile in width, and 
wondrously fertile. Along the scarred and chalky slope of the highest of these hills spread 
a small and lovely village, which, in a land where every stone seemed to have a story, is 
remarkable as having had no public history and no distinguishable native name. No great 



If we regard the three accounts of the transaction at Nazareth 
as referring to the same visit, it is plain that Jesus did not leave 
the village immediately. We are not obliged to suppose that 
he escaped from the murderous hands of his townsmen by a 
miracle. Some have believed that he became invisible ; or that 
he changed his appearance, so that the people did not recog- 
nize him ; or that he melted like a cloud out of their hands. 

The language of Luke is, " But he, passing through the midst 
of them, went his way." That Jesus at times assumed an air of 
such trrandeur that men were awe-struck, and could not bear 
either his eye or his voice, we know. The hardened soldiers 
that went to Gethsemane to arrest him fell to the ground when 
he confronted them. There are many instances of this power 
of his person to make men quail. (See Chapter YII.) We are 
inclined to the supposition, that Jesus assumed a manner of 
such authority that even the riotous crowd let fall their hands, 
and that he walked quietly away from out of their midst. 

This unhappy visit to Nazareth was the last. He could not 
there bestow the mercies which doubtless he would have con- 
ferred upon a spot that must have been endeared to him by 
a thousand associations and experiences of youth, and where, 
according to Mark, his sisters yet dwelt. " And are not his sis- 
ters here with us?" (Mark vi. 3.) The temper of this people 
repelled his gracious offers of kindness. It is true that " he laid 
his hand upon a few sick folk, and healed them." But we 

road led up to this sunny nook. No traffic came into it. Trade, Avar, adventure, pleasure, 
pomp, passed by it, flowing from west to cast, from east to west, along the Roman road. 
But the meadows were aglow with wheat and barley. Near the low ground ran a belt 
of gardens fenced with loose stones, in which myriads of green figs, red pomegranates, and 
golden citrons ripened in the summer sun. High up the slopes, which Avere lined and 
planted like the Rhine at Bingen, hung vintages of purple grapes. In the plain among 
the corn, and beneath the mulberry-trees and figs, shone daisies, poppies, tulips, lilies, 
anemones, endless in their profusion, brilliant in their dyes. Low doAvn on the hillside 
sprang a Avell of water, bubbling, plentiful, and sweet ; and above this fountain of life, in a 
long street straggling from the fountain to the synagogue, rose the homesteads of many 
shepherds, craftsmen, and vine-dressers. It was a lovely and humble place, of which 
no poet, no ruler, no historian of Israel bad ever taken note." 

It need scarcely be said, that, except the hills anil terraces and the fountain, there 
is nothing now in or about Nazareth that could have been there in Christ's youth. The 
legends that abound respecting his infancy and youth are unworthy of a moment's con- 
sideration. Over the youth of Christ, in Nazareth, there rests a silence for more impres- 
sive than anything which the imagination can frame, and on Avliich the puerile legends 
break with impertinent intrusiorft 


[g- — ^ 


may easily believe that he would have been glad to make 
Nazareth a monument of benefactions. A year had passed since 
his baptism by John. Already he had experience of the un- 
believing temper of his age and countrymen ; but there was 
something in the fierceness and repulsive manners of his fel- 
low-townsmen that surpassed all ordinary experience, "and he 
marvelled because of their unbelief." 

Capernaum henceforth became his home, in so far as he can 
be said to have had a home at all during the year now before 
him, and which was the great period of his activity. For the 
ministry of Christ covered but a little more than two j'ears, and 
his chief labor was compressed into a single one.^ 

From this time Jesus seems either to have lived in retire- 
ment for about two months, or, if he carried forward his work 
of teaching, no allusion is made to it by any of the Evangelists. 
But in March of this year he goes again to Jerusalem, probably 
to the Feast of Purim, — a feast instituted to keep in remem- 
brance the great deliverance which the Jews in captivity re- 
ceived at the hands of Esther.^ 

This visit of Jesus to Jerusalem was memorable, not only for 
the beneficent miracles of mercy wrought by him there, but for 
the decided alienation of the Pharisees, and the beginning on 
their part of that deadly hatred which little more than a year 
afterwards accomplished his crucifixion. 

Jesus was not, like the Rabbis, accustomed to hpld himself 
apart from the common people, and to show himself only to 

* " The ministry of our Lord would seem to have lasted about two years and three 
months, i. e. from his liaptism, at the close of 27 A. D. (780 A. U. C.) or beginning of 
28 A. D. to the last Passover in 30 A. D. The opinions on this subject have been ap- 
parently as much divided in ancient as in modern times Tlie general feeling of 

antiquity Avas, that our Lord's entire ministry lasted for a period, speaking roughly, of 
about three years, but that the more active part .... lasted one." — Ellicott's Lectures 
on the Life of our Lord Jesus Christ, (Boston, 1862,) p. 145, note. 

^ John simply says that it was a " feast of the Jews." It might be, therefore, the Dedi- 
cation, the Feast of Purim, the Passover, the Pentecost, or the Feast of Tabernacles, 
which fell, respectively, in the months of December, March, April, INIay, and September. 
The best authorities are irreconcilably at variance as to which " feast " is meant ; which- 
ever view one takes, it will be only conjecture, rather than probability. Certainty there 
is none. Tlie value of the truths of the gospel is not affected by tlie utter confusion of 
chronologists. The consecutive order of many of the events in Christ's life cannot be 
precisely detei-mined ; but this does not change their moral worth, nor cast any suspicion 
upon their authenticity. 






admiring disciples. There are many indications that he moved 
about inquiringly among the poor, and made himself familiar 
with their necessities. He shortened the distance between him- 
self and the plain common people as much as possible. It was 
in one of these walks of mercy that he came one Sabbath day to 
the pool of Bethesda, which was without the walls of Jerusa- 
lem and near to the Sheep Gate ; but the spot is not now 
known. That which has for ages been pointed out as the site 
of Bethesda — a dry reservoir on the north of the Temple wall 
— is now given up. This " pool " was an intermitting fountain, 
whose waters were supposed to be healing, if used at the time 
of their regurgitation. Around it, for the convenience of the 
sick, had been built a colonnade, or porch, and there the dis- 
eased and the crippled awaited their chance to descend. 


It was to just such places that Jesus was likely to come ; and 
on this Sabbath day he beheld a sufferer unable to help him- 
self and without friends to assist him. None are more apt to 


^ ^ 


be selfish than the sick. Each one seeks his own cure, and is 
indifferent to the sufferings of others. This man had brought 
upon himself, by some course of dissipation, the evils which 
afflicted him (John v. 14) ; but it was enough that he suffered. 
Jesus saluted him with the question, " Wilt thou be made 
whole ? " and the man, not knowing the stranger, and natu- 
rally supposing that he was asking only the reason of his de- 
lay in entering the pool, excused himself by pleading his inability 
to contend with the scrambling crowd that plunged into the 
waters at the favored moment. As yet Jesus was but little 
known. He had neither preached in Jerusalem, nor wrought 
miracles in any such public way as to bring his Divine power 
clearly before men. He did not, therefore, require the exer- 
cise of faith in this cripple as a condition of mercy. He sur- 
prised him with the peremptory command, " Rise ! Take up 
thy bed, and Walk ! " Then came the sudden thrill of health ! 
The cripple had been bathed in no fountain stirred by an angel. 
From the Fountain of life had fallen on him the healing influ- 
ence. His amazement of joy must be imagined. 

Behold him now with nimble step ascending to the city ! He 
is stopped. What is it ? Why, he is carrying with him his bed ! 
He has forgotten that it is the Sabbath. "It is not lawful for 
thee to carry thy bed." Was an Oriental bed, then, so large 
as to make an uncomely appearance upon the man's shoulder ? 
No, it was but a pallet, to be spread, like a blanket, on the 
ground. Rolled up, it was a bundle less than a soldier's over- 
coat, and could be carried under the arm without inconvenience. 
But it was the Sabbath day. A Jew might play on the Sab- 
bath, join in social festivity, grow hilarious, but he must not 
work ! 

There is no evidence that Jesus did not keep the Sabbath 
day as it w^as enjoined in the Law of Moses. He certainly did 
not trample it under foot, nor in any w\ay undervalue it. It 
was against the glosses of the Pharisees that he strove. They 
had added to the Law innumerable explanations which were 
deemed as binding as the original. The Sabbath day had be- 
come a snare. B}^ ingenious constructions and by stretch of 
words the Jews had turned it into a da}' of bondage, and made 
it a monument of superstitions. No Jew must kindle a fire on 

c^ ^ 

^ -^ 


that day, nor even light a candle. A conscientious Jew would 
not snuft' his candle nor put fuel upon the lire on the Sabbath. 
There were thirty-nine principal occupations which, with all that 
were analogous to them, were forbidden. " If a Jew go forth 
on the Friday, and on the night falls short of home more than 
is lawful to be travelled on the Sabbath day (i. e. two thousand 
yards), there must he set him down, and there keej^ his Sab- 
bath, though in a wood, or in a field, or on the highway-side, 
without all fear of wind and weather, of thieves and robbers, all 
care of meat or drink." " The lame may use a staff, but the 
blind may not." Not being indispensable, for a blind man to 
carry a staff would come under the head of carrying burdens 
on the Sabbath. " Men must not fling more corn to their poul- 
try than will serve that day, lest it may grow by lying still, 
and they be said to sow their corn upon the Sabbath." "They 
may not carry a flap or fan to drive away the flies." That 
would be a species of labor. 

It was not enough that every device was seized to prevent 
formal or honest labor, but there was joined to this rigor an 
ingenious dishonesty. '•• To carry anything from one house to 
another is unlawful ; but if the householders in a court should 
join in some article of food and deposit it in a certain place, 
the whole court becomes virtually one dwelling, and the inmates 
are entitled to carry from house to house whatever they please." 
" It is unlawful to carry a handkerchief loose in the pocket ; but 
if they pin it to the pocket, or tie it round the Avaist as a 
girdle, they may carry it anywhere." Many of the things which 
a Jew would by no means suffer himself to do on the Sabbath, 
such as putting fuel on the fire, or performing tasks of cook- 
ing, he would permit a Gentile servant to do for him, if he 
were rich enough to employ one, inasmuch as the Gentiles were 
not under the Law ! At the very time that the Rabbis were 
devising restrictions on the one side, they were shrewdly out- 
witting the Law by cunning devices on the other. " A Sab- 
bath-day's journey " was two thousand paces, measured from 
one's domicile. But by depositing food at the end of the first 
two thousand paces on a previous day, and calling that place a 
domicile, they were suffered to go forw^ard another Sabbath-day's 
journey. Thus superstitious rigor led to evasions and hypocrisy. 

^ _ — _ _ 


But this strictness was not exercised for the sake of keeping 
the Sabbath as a day of moral instruction and of devotion. For, 
though the Temple service was more full on that day than on 
ordinary days, and there were religious services in the syna- 
gogues, yet the Sabbath was observed on the wdiole as a day 
of recreation and social enjoyment. Feasts w^ere given, and a 
large hospitality was exercised. The Jewish Sabbath, from the 
days of Moses, and in its original intent and spirit, was as much 
a day of social pleasure as of religious observance. Boisterous 
hilarity was disallowed, and all secular work, that is, toil for 
profit of every kind, was a capital offence. It was upon this 
clause that the Pharisaic ingenuit}'- had run into fixntastic ex- 
travagances, and a day originally appointed for reasons of mercy 
had become a burden and an oppression. 

The fortunate man who had been healed did not, when ques- 
tioned, even know to whom he was indebted. " It is the Sab- 
bath day," said the pious townsmen ; " it is not lawful for thee 
to carry thy bed." But his better nature told him that one 
who could perform such a miracle upon him stood nearer to 
God, and was more fit to be obeyed, than the men of the Tem- 
ple. Bravely he replied, " He that made me whole, the same 
said unto me, Take up tln^ bed, and w^alk." But afterward, hav- 
ing met Jesus in the Temple, he let it be known who it was 
that had healed him. The excitement ran high. So enraged 
were the Jews, that they did " persecute Jesus, and sought to 
slay him." AVithout doubt, the excitement and uproar took place 
in the Temple court. 

It has been thought, and with reason, that Jesus was arraigned 
before the Sanhedrim, if not formally, yet in a hastily convoked 
meeting. The discourse recorded by John (v. 17-47) could 
scarcely be the flow of an uninterrupted speech. It bears all 
the marks of a controversy. It is broken up into disconnected 
topics, as if between them there had been arguments and an- 
swers, or some taunting retorts, although the Evangelist has not 
presented any part of the disputation, except the points of the 
Lord's replies. To the charge of breaking the Sabbath by work- 
ing a miracle, Jesus answers with an allusion to God's ceaseless 
activity on all days alike ; which, even were it not the highest 
truth, would be the noblest poetry, and not the less emphatic 



because so condensed, — " My Father worketli hitherto, and I 

Why should I forbear on the Sabbath to do good ? Does the 
sun cease shining ? Do rivers stand still ? Do the grasses not 
grow, and fruits ripen, and birds sing ? Does Nature keep Sab- 
bath ? Is not God forever going on in ceaseless benefiiction, 
without variableness or shadow of turning ? Is it not lawful 
for children to be born on the Sabbath ? for medicine to carry 
forward the cure ? for the weak to grow strong ? Through all 
God's realm the Sabbath is a day of active mercy, and why 
should I refuse a work of benevolence ? 

The reply was unanswerable. It was a sublime appeal from 
the rescripts and traditions of man to the authority of God. 
Jesus appealed from custom to nature. Evading this reply, they 
seized upon the fact that he had called God his Father, thus, 
as they said, "making himself equal w4th God." They broke 
out upon him with truculent fury, and sought to tear him in 
pieces. Yet by some means the storm was quieted. The dis- 
course is remarkable in every respect, but in nothing more than 
the direct assumption of Divine authority. He rises above all 
conventional grounds and above all human sanctions. He de- 
clares that he acts with the direct authority of God. " The Son 
can do nothing of himself, but wdiat he seeth the Father do." 
Instead of explanation and apology to his accusers, Jesus boldly 
claims their submission to his authority ! " The Father judgeth 
no man, but hath committed all judgment to the Son : that all 
men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father." 
He now drops the title Sox of Max, which he had always used 
among the common people, because it drew him so near to them 
and made them and him of one kin, and for the first time calls 
himself the Sox of God. ^' The hour is coming, and now is, 
when the dead shall hear the voice of the Sox of God." As 
it was a question of authority before the Sanhedrim, he places 
himself on grounds above all reach of competition or of compar- 
ison. He not only does not acknowledge their right to control 
his conscience, but he declares that he Avill hold them and all 
mankind responsible to himself " The hour is coming, in the 
which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall 
come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection 



of life ; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of 

The members of the court must have looked upon him with 
wonder as well as with rage. He disowned the whole value of 
that system of authority on which their pride, their power, and 
their ambition were built. He refused to stand before them as 
a culprit, or to be catechised as a scholar. He soared to the 
highest heaven. He placed himself beside God. He clothed 
himself with Divine authority. He judged his judges, and con- 
demned the highest tribunal of his people. Instead of apolo- 
gizing for his deeds, or even explaining, he arraigned the San- 
hedrim. He reminded them that for a time they had been 
disposed to accept John as a prophet : " Ye were willing for a 
season to rejoice in his light." John also was now a witness 
for Jesus. But no man could be an adequate witness of his 
nature and authority. Only God could authenticate these. By 
his miracles he showed that God had borne witness to him. He 
rebuked them for gross ignorance of those Scriptures in which 
it was their pride and boast that they were profoundly versed. 
He iDrino^s home to them their worldliness, their mutual flat- 
teries, their ambitions, their poverty of love, their wealth of 

Overawed, their tumultuous anger died, and Jesus went forth 
from this first encounter with the rulers of his people safe for 
the present, but a marked man, to be watched, followed, en- 
trapped, and, when the favorable moment should come, to be 

We must not suppose that the Pharisees were moved to this 
controversy with Jesus from any moral regard for the Sabbath. 
It was simply a question of power. To attack what may be 
called their theology of the Sabbath was to attack the most 
salient point of their religious authority. If they might be 
safely defied before the people on this ground, there was no 
use in trying to maintain their authority as leaders on any 
other. They could not allow themselves to look upon Christ's 
merciful deed in the light of humanity. It was to them a 
political act, and in its tendency a subversion of their teach- 
ing, of their influence, and of their supreme authority. 

No party will yield up its power willingly ; and a religious 





party less willingly than any other, because it believes itself to 
represent the Divine will, and construes all attack upon itself 
as resistance to Divine authority. Its moral sense is offended, 
as well as its avarice and ambition. There is no bitterness so 
intense as that which comes when the moral feelings are cor- 
rupted into alliance with men's passions. That is fanaticism. 

Although there is something admirable in this scene, — a sin- 
gle mail confronting the false spirit of the age, the customs of 
his countrymen, and the active power of their government, 
— yet it has its sadness as well. Here began the death of 
Jesus. From this hour the cross threw its shadow upon his 

There were two other conflicts on this very question which 
occurred about this time ; and though there is nothing by which 
we may fix the place where they occurred, some placing it near 
Jerusalem, and some, with more probability, in Galilee, they 
may be fitly grouped and considered together, fgr they all be- 
long to about the same period of Christ's 
ministry, and they are, interiorly, parts 
of the same conflict. 

This first collision settled the policy 
of the Temple party. Word went out 
over all the land to their active par- 
tisans that Jesus was to be watched. 
Wherever he went from this time, his 
steps were dogged by spies ; skulking 
emissaries listened for some indictable 
speech ; and everywhere he found the 
Pharisees in a ferment of malice. 

In one of his circuits, whether in Ju- 
dasa or in Galilee is not stated, he was 
on a Sabbath day passing through the 
fields. The barley harvest was near at 
hand. The grain was turning ripe. His 
disciples, being hungry, began to rub 
out the ripe kernels from the barley- 
heads and to eat them. According to 
the refinements of the Pharisees, this was equivalent to harvest- 
ing. Jesus was permitting his ' disciples to reap grain-fields on 





the Sabbath ! To be sure, it was but a few heads that were 
plucked, but harvesting did not depend on much or httle. One 
grain gathered on the Sabbath had the moral character of har- 
vest labor ! 

Does this seem impertinent and impossible? Not if one con- 
siders that the Pharisee forbade men to walk on the grass on 
the Sabbath, because in so doino; some seeds mi ""lit be crushed 
out under their feet, and that would be threshing ! No man 
must catch a flea on the Sabbath, for that would be hunting ! 
No man on the Sabbath must wear nailed shoes, for that would 
be bearing burdens ! 

To make the criminality of Jesus sure, it was necessary to call 
attention to the conduct of his disciples, and secure his ap- 
proval of it. Taking food* that did not belong to them was not 
an offence under the laws of Moses, if it was done to satisfy 
hunger.' The allegation was, therefore, '' Thy disciples do that 
which is not lawful to do upon the Sahbath day'' Pie first shapes 
a reply that a Pharisee would feel, and then he places the Sab- 
bath on the broadest ground of hinnanity. 

King David, the pride and glory of the Jews, was never con- 
demned for breaking; a law which was re^'arded with extraor- 
dinary sacredness. Driven by excess of hunger, when fleeing 
from Saul, he entered the house of God,^ deceived the high- 
priest, seized and ate the consecrated bread, taking it, as it 
were, from before the very face of God. To save his life he 
committed an act of sacrilege, and yet was never deemed guilty 
of the sin of sacrilege. But it was not necessary to refer to 
history. Right before their eyes, in their own day, was the law 
of the Sabbath broken, and that too by their holiest men. Did 
not the priests work every Sabbath in the Temple, slaying sheep 
and oxen, drawing water, cleaving wood and carrying it to the 
altar, kindling fires, and all this, not in rare emergencies, but 
habitually ? If the Pharisaic rule of the Sabbath were bind- 
ing, what should be said of men who every week chose the 
holiest place, in the most public manner, to violate the Sab- 

* " When tliou comest into thy neighbor's vineyard, then thou mayest eat grapes thy 
fill, at thine own pleasure ; but thou shalt not put any in thy vessel. When thou comest 
into the standing corn of thy neighbor, then thou mayest pluck the ears with thine hand ; 
but thou shalt not move a sickle unto thy neighbor's standing corn." — Deut. xxiii. 24, 25. 

"' 1 Sam. xxi. 1-6. 



bath by hard work ? No reply was made to these words, for 
the best of reasons. 

They could not deny that the rulers of the Temple had 
authority to permit the priests to work on the Sabbath. But 
Jesus claimed that he was himself superior in authority to the 
Temple. " In this place is one greater than the Temple." To 
the Jews that Temple was the symbol of their history, their 
religion, and their civil law. It was the nation's heart. When 
Jesus declared himself to be superior to the Temple itself, it 
could be understood as nothing less than grasping at sover- 
eignty ; and as it was an affirmation in justification of an as- 
sault upon the most sensitive part of their authority, it could 
be understood as nothing less than treading under foot the San- 
hedrim. Was it, then, one of those moments in which his heav- 
enly nature illumined his person, and filled all that looked on 
with admiration and amazement ? If not, how can we account 
for it that there was no protest, no outburst of wrath ? 

This imperial mood was significant, too, because it disclosed 
itself in the beginning of his conflict with the Temple party, in 
the very calmness and morning of his more open ministry. The 
same sovereignty of spirit was more and more apparent to the 
end. Its assumption was not, as Renan imagines, the final effect 
of continuous conflicts with the Jews : it belonged to Jesus from 
the beginning. His life answered to either title. Son of Man, 
or Son of God. In the spirit of sovereignty he claimed au- 
thority to repeal the legislation of the Pharisees respecting the 
Sabbath, to restore the Law to its original simplicitj^ and to 
leave to the intelligent moral sense of men what things were 
merciful and necessary on the Sabbath. 

It is remarkable that there should be a third conflict of the 
same kind at about the same time. It shows that the Pharisees 
had accepted the challenge, and were determined to make an 
open issue with Jesus on the subject of Sabbath-keeping. On 
a Sabbath not long after the scene just now narrated, the peojDle 
were gathered in a synagogue, — where and in what one is not 
mentioned. Christ was teaching the people. There was among 
them a man whose right arm was paralyzed. The Pharisees 
were there watching. They knew that Jesus would be tempted 
by his humanity to break the Pharisaic Sabbath by healing him. 

^- ^ 



They hinted at the man's presence by asking Jesus, " Is it law- 
ful to heal on the Sabbath clay?" Before answering them, Jesus 
called to the paralytic, " Rise up, and stand forth in the midst." 
Then, turning to his malicious questioners, he put back to them 
their own question, lifted out of its technical form, and placed 
upon moral grounds : " Is it lawful on the Sabbath days to do 
good, or to do evil ? to save life, or to destroy it ? " They did 
not dare to answer when the case w^as thus brought home to 
every man's common sense. But Jesus was willing to meet the 
question both on technical and on moral grounds. The Phari- 
sees permitted a shepherd to extricate from peril one of his 
sheep on the Sabbath day. Seizing that permission to property 
interests, Jesus contrasted with it their shameless indifference 
to humanity. " How much then is a man better than a sheep ? 
Wherefore it is lawful to do Avell on the Sabbath days." 

This scene, slight as it seems in the rehearsal, went to the 
very heart of Jesus. To him nothing seemed so repulsive as the 
soul of an intelligent man coiled up in its selfishness and strik- 
ing at the poor and weak. Sins of excess, unbridled passions, 
vices and crimes, he rebuked with much of pity as well as of 
sternness ; but intelligent inhumanity roused his utmost indigna- 
tion. This particular case was peculiarly offensive. He turned 
upon his questioners an eye that none could bear. Calm it was, 
but it burned like a flame. There is no expression so unen- 
durable as that of incensed love. It is plain that he searched 
their countenances one by one, and brought home to them a 
sense of their meanness. "And when he had looked round 
about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of 
their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand." 
It was healed. 

Now came the rage of his baffled enemies. They " w^ere filled 
with madness." They drew together in counsel ; they began to 
call in as auxiliaries the venal scoundrels that hung about 
Herod's court, seeking " how they might destroy him," combining 
political jealousy with ecclesiastical bitterness. As yet, their 
malice was powerless. His hour had not come. 

We have here, in a more developed form than had thus fjir 
appeared in the life of Jesus, the aggressiveness of love. He 

C^ ^ 

t^ -^ 


had shown himself to be personally full of sympathy and kind- 
ness ; but noAv he makes benevolence the criterion of justice 
and the test of religion. He begins to bring the institutions, 
the customs, and the maxims of his countrymen to the criti- 
cism of the law of kindness. It is the first scene in which we 
behold love equipped for conflict. 

Whatever importance attached to the day in their contro- 
versy, the Sabbath was a secondary matter. It was not a ques- 
tion whether it was divine, nor whether it should be abrogated, 
nor even how it should be kept; it was the spirit of inhumanity, 
the hard-heartedness of the religious chiefs, the unsympathetic 
and teasing spirit with which they administered religious affairs 
that was to be judged. It was more than a dispute about an 
ordinance ; it was a conflict between kindness and unmerciful- 
ness, between fraternal sympathies and official authority, be- 
tween mercy and relentless superstition. 

When we hear Jesus saying, "I will have mercy, and not 
sacrifice," and know that those words were applied to the ad- 
ministration of law, we feel that a new interpretation of justice 
has come. The Divine administration of all laws is toward 
mercy. Henceforth humanity judges them, and gives them per- 
mission to be. Pain and penalty are not abolished, but they are 
no longer vindictive ; they are for restraint, correction, and pre- 
vention. Justice is love purging things from evil and making 
them lovely. 

The protests of Jesus against the Pharisaic observance of the 
Sabbath must not be regarded as discountenancing the day it- 
self as a Divine ordinance, nor even as criticising the original 
methods of its observance enjoined by Moses. He set his face 
against the unfeeling use which the Pharisees of his time made 
of it. It was the perversion of a day of mercy that he resisted. 
In reasoning the case, Jesus laid down a principle which affects 
all human institutions of every kind : " The Sabbath ivas made for 
man, and not man for the Sabbath." 

Institutions and laws have no sacredness in themselves. They 
have no rio-hts as ascainst the real welfare of men. Laws are 
servants, not masters. No law must rule unless it will serve. 
But one thing on earth is intrinsically sacred, and that is man, 
and he because he is God's son and the heir of immortality. 


0-. ^ 


His nature is sacred. Amidst all his sins, crimes, and corrup- 
tions, there is still within him the soul that came of God, for 
whose sake the whole round of nature is ordained ; — and how 
much more civil laws and ecclesiastical ordinances ! The state 
was made for man, not man for the state. 

The weliiire of the state depends upon the sacredness of the 
individual citizen. The tendency has been to build up the state 
at all hazard, — to sacrifice the citizen to public good, as if the 
good of the whole demanded the sacrifice of its units. Men 
may ofier themselves up in great emergencies, revolutions, wars, 
etc., but in the ordinary flow of life the strength and happiness 
of the unit will determine the prosperity and power of the ag- 






THUS far we have seen only the preparatory steps of Christ's 
ministry. A year and a half had passed since his haptism, 
of which period but an imperfect record exists. The time was 
now come for the full disclosure of his energy. He began to 
feel in greater measure the impulse of the Divine nature. He 
had learned, in this last visit to Jerusalem, of John's arrest 
and imprisonment. The field was open. He left the scowling 
brotherhood of Judajan Pharisees, who no longer disguised their 
deadly intentions, and repaired to Galilee, making Capernaum 
his head-quarters. We must soon follow him in the repeated 
circuits which he made from there, and note the details of his 

It was the most joyful period of his life. It was a full year 
of beneficence unobstructed. It is true that he was jealously 
watched, but he was not forcibly .resisted. He was maliciously 
defamed by the emissaries of the Temple, but he irresistibly 
charmed the hearts of the common people. Can we doubt that 
his life was full of exquisite enjoyment ? He had not within 
himself those conflicts which common men have. There was 
entire harmony of faculties within, and a perfect agreement be- 
tween his inward and his external life. He bore others' bur- 
dens, but had none of his own. His body was in full health ; 
his soul was clear and tranquil j his heart overflowed with an 



unending sympathy. He was pursuing the loftiest errand which 
benevolence can contemplate. No joy known to the human 
soul compares with that of successful beneficent labor. We can- 
not doubt that the earlier portions of this year, though full of 
intense excitement, were also full of deep happiness to hun. 
Wherever he came, he carried men's hearts with him. What- 
ever town he left, there had been hundreds of hearts in it 
made happy by his cleansing touch. At times the excitement 
seemed likely to whirl him away. He was obliged to repress it, 
to forsake the crowds and hide himself for a while, — to with- 
hold his miracles, lest the overflowing enthusiasm should be 
mistaken by a jealous government for political insurrection, and 
a cruel end be put to the work of beneficence. 

We love to linger in these thoughts. We are glad that Jesus 
tasted joy as well as sorrow, — that there were months of won- 
derful gladness. At times the cloud of coming suffering may 
have cast its shadow upon his path ; but his daily work was 
full of light. Could he behold the gladness of household after 
household and be himself unmoved ? Could he heal the sick 
through wide regions, see the maimed and cripjoled restored to 
activity, and not participate in the joy which broke out on every 
hand? Could he console the sorrowing, instruct the ignorant, 
recall the wandering, confirm the wavering, and not find his 
heart full of joyfulness ? Besides the wonder and admiration 
which he excited on every hand, he received from not a few 
the most cordial afiection, and returned a richer love. 

It is impossible not to see from the simple language of the 
Evangelists, that his first circuits in Galilee were triumphal pro- 
cessions. The sentences which generalize the history are few, 
but they are such as could have sprung only out of joyous 
memories, and indicate a new and great development of poAver 
on his side, and an ebullition of joyful excitement through 'the 
whole community. " And Jesus returned in the poiver of the Spirit 
into Galilee : and there went out a fame of him through all the 
region round about. And he taught in their synagogues, being 
glorified of alV (Luke iv. 14, 15.) 

To suppose that Jesus had no gladness in the work which 
diffused so much happiness, that he could see the tides of ex- 
citement flowing on every side without sympathy, that he could 

^ ^ J 



touch responsively every tender affection in the human soul and 
not have a vibration of its joy in himselif, is to suppose him less 
than human. Any worthy conception of a Divine nature must 
make it flxr richer in affection and sympathy than men can be. 
Whatever rejoicing attended his career through Galilee, we may 
be sure that no one was more happy than he. 

On the Sabbath he seems always to have resorted to the syn- 
acroo-ue, as did every devout Jew, just as Christians now betake 
themselves to churches. His fame would not permit hnn to be 
only a listener. He was called by the rulers of the synagogue 
to the place of teacher, and from Sabbath to Sabbath he unfold- 
ed to his countrjmien the deep spiritual meanings hidden in their 
Scriptures which had been buried under the Pharisaic traditions. 
But he did not confine himself to a Scriptural and expository 
method of instruction. On the Sabbath, and during the week- 
days, when fit occasion offered, he seized the events which were 
taking place before their eyes, and, applying to them the criti- 
cism of the highest morality, he made them the texts from which 
to develop a spiritual faith. More of these discourses founded 
upon passing events are recorded than of Scriptural expositions. 
Indeed, while we have many allusions to Scripture, we have no 
single discourse of Jesus which may be strictly called an ex- 
pository one. The freshness of this method of teaching, the 
abandonment of all mere refinements and frivolous niceties, the 
application of humane good sense and of rational justice to every- 
day interests, gave to his teaching a power which never accom- 
panied the tedious dialectics of the JcAvish doctors. "And they 
were astonished at his doctrine : for he taught them as one that 
had authority, and not as the scribes. . . . For his word was with 
power." (Mark i. 22 ; Luke iv. 32.) 

An occurrence on one of the earliest, if not the very first of 
the Sabbaths spent in Capernaum, will furnish a good example 
of the scenes of this great year of his ministry. 

While Jesus was speaking in the synagogue, amidst the pro- 
found stillness the people were startled by a wild outcry. A 
poor wretch was there who " had the spirit of an unclean devil." 
With the pathos of intense fear lie cried out, "Let us alone; 
what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth ? " All 
this might have resulted from the pungent nature of the teach- 




iiig, but not the cry, " I know thee who thou art, the Holy One 
of God," — this was somethmg more than a random speech. We 
may imagine the shock which such a scene Avould produce in the 
midst of a sermon in one of our churches. Jesus, undistin-bed 
and calm, enjoined silence, and with a word of command drove 
out the evil spirit. Then came the reaction ; all men were filled 
with admiration and spread the news abroad. But Jesus, with- 
drawing from the tumult, secluded himself during the heat of 
the day in Peter's house. There he found Peter's mother-in-law 
prostrated with a fever. At a touch of his hand she was healed, 
and resumed her household duties before them all, as if she had 
not been sick. The whole city was alive with excitement. 

During the fiery noons of Orienttil cities men shut themselves 
up in their houses ; but at evening they pour forth, and the gate 
of the city is the grand resort. Thither too, upon this same day, 
repaired Jesus, w^ho was always drawn toward the multitudes. 
He was evidently expected and eagerly awaited. And now ap- 
peared a scene which only the imagination can depict. All the 
diseases wdiich the violent heats in that climate breed upon the 
uncleanly habits and the squalid poverty of the masses were 
represented at the gate by appropriate subjects. Fevers, drop- 
sies, paralyses, w^ere there. The blind, the deaf, and — hovering 
on the edge afar off — the lepers implored helj^. The lame came 
limping, and those too sick to help themselves were borne thither 
by their friends, until the ample space was like a camp hospital. 
Jesus commenced among them his merciful work. It was a sol- 
emn and joyful scene. Human misery was exhibited here in 
many forms ; but as, one by one, the touch or word of the Mas- 
ter healed it, came the rebound of exultation. Those avIio were 
coming, bearing the sick on couches, met returning happy groups 
of those who had been healed. Many tears of rejoicing fell, as 
children were given back to despairing mothers. Strange calm- 
ness in some natures, and wild exhilaration in others, attested 
the rapture of deliverance from loathsome disease. Never, in 
all their memories, had there been such an evening twilight of 
a Sabbath day. But of all who w^ent home that night in ecstasy 
of gladness, there Avas not one whose nature enabled him to feel 
the deep joy of Him who said, " It is more blessed to give than 
to receive." 




We always long to look into the souls of great men at critical 
periods, to see how success or defeat affects them. This had 
been a triumphal Sabbath to Jesus. No opposition seems to have 
arisen from any quarter. His instructions had been received 
without cavil, and had awakened an almost idolatrous enthusiasm. 
His name was on every lip ; his praise resounded through the 
whole neighborhood, and the day had closed by such a luminous 
display of merciful benefactions as left all his former deeds in 
the shade. The effect of such success upon his own soul is 
dimly shown in the record by the intimations of a probably 
sleepless night, and his going forth long before daylight into a 
^ quiet place for prayer. The excitement of beneficence lifted 
him toward the Divine Spirit. If success had in any wise tempt- 
ed him to vanity, he found a refuge in communion with God. 
"And in the morning, rising up a great w^hile before day, he 
went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed." 
(Mark i. 35.) 

But the tumult of excitement in the city could not easily sub- 
side. Early the people began to throng Peter's house to find 
him again. Peter and his brothers went forth to search for 
the wanderer. We can without violence imao-ine that he had 
selected one of the near slopes of the hills which hedge in the 
Sea of Galilee on its western limit. There lay the tranquil waters. 
The last mists were dissolving from its face as the footsteps of 
the throng drew near. Simon salutes him, saying, " All men 
seek for thee " ; and the people with him press around Jesus 
with affectionate violence, as if they would carry him back to 
the city in their arms. They "came unto him, and staj^ed him, 
tliat he should not depart from them." The desire was natural; 
but he had a mission of which they knew not. It was not for 
him to settle in Capernaum, nor suffer them to appropriate to 
themselves all his mercies. He replied to their importunity, " I 
must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also." 

It is not to be supposed that the Pharisees joined in this gen- 
eral applause. While there were just men among them, the 
great body were either secretly or openly inimical to Jesus. 
But they were politic ; they did not choose to array themselves 
against the people in the hour of their enthusiasm. If at first 
they hesitated, hoping that this man of singular influence might 

4 ^ 

c0-^ ^ 


be used in the interest of their party, they had now given up 
all such expectations, and their enmity grew with his popularity. 
Thus at this time they seem to have neither applauded nor op- 
posed him. 

Jesus journeyed, after the manner of the country, on foot. So 
thickly were the towns planted in populous Galilee that he need- 
ed to make but a short march from one to another. It was the 
hosjDitable custom of the time, when Jewish Rabbis went from 
place to place, to provide for all their wants. Thus Jesus was 
supported by the kindness of the people wherever he labored. 
Can it be doubted that, among so many who received at his 
hands priceless gifts of healing or consolation, there were found 
numbers of all classes who contested for the privilege of enter- 
taining him ? And yet there is reason to believe that he allied 
himself very closely Avith the poor and laboring class. It is cer- 
tain that in his passage through Galilee, at a later day than that 
of which we are speaking, he was dependent upon the contri- 
butions of grateful women whom he had healed or blessed by his 
teaching, and who accompanied his disciples. (Luke viii. 1-3.) 
We also know that the company of disciples was organized into 
a family, had a common treasury, and received into it the gifts 
of benevolence for their joint support. Jesus never scrupled to 
accept the hospitality of the rich, for they too were men ; yet he 
seems to have been at no time long separated from the poor and 
wretched of his people. Had he dwelt among the rich and gone 
down to the poor, he could never have come so near to their 
hearts as when he ate their bread, slept under their humble 
roofs, and sympathized with their tasks and labors, as his own 
early life peculiarly fitted him to do. Many a wanderer would 
come to him as he sat among the lowly, who would not have 
dared to enter the mansions of the rich. Yet one will in vain 
look for a syllable in all his teachings that would favor the preju- 
dices which one class usually entertains against another. He 
was faithful to all in rebuking their evil. But his spirit tended 
to draw men together, and to unite the widely sej^arated classes 
of society in the sympathy of a common brotherhood. 

Immediately following the Sabbath whose history we have 
given above, Jesus made the first of the series of circuits which 
marked this period of his life, and by which he compassed the 

^ ^ ^ 



whole of Cialilee several times during this year. So vague are 
the chronological hints in the Evangelists, that we cannot note 
with precision either the several routes or the exact periods at 
which the several journeys were made, nor ascertain to which 
of the circuits belong certain descriptions of the effects produced. 
It is probable that every appearance of Jesus was the signal for 
great excitement, that the course of ordinary affairs was inter- 
rupted, and that the whole population in some instances were 
turned out of the usual channels of life. Not only did the peo- 
ple of each town throng his steps, but there came from abroad, 
from widely different directions, great multitudes, who crowded 
the roads, choked up the villages, and went with him from place 
to place. Matthew says that "great multitudes" of people "fol-^ 
lowed" him from Galilee, from Decapolis (the name of a region 
on the northeast of Palestine, comprising ten cities), from Je- 
rusalem, from Jud£ea generally, and from beyond Jordan, and 
that his f\ime was spread "throughout all Syria." Every day 
added to the excitement. It threatened to become revolution- 
ary. Every eminent miracle shot forth a new ardor. Caper- 
naum, on one occasion, was fairly besieged, so that, as Mark 
says, he "could no more openly enter into the city." How 
large these crowds actually were, we have some means of judg- 
ing by the numbers mentioned in the subsequent history of the 
feeding of the multitudes; in one case four thousand, and m 
another case five thousand, were supplied with food. It was 
certainly to be desired that the preaching of Jesus should arouse 
the whole community; but an excessive and ungovernable ex- 
citement was unfavorable to the reception of the truth, and 
subjected the people to bloody dangers by arousing the sus- 
picions of a vigilant and cruel government. Herod would be 
likely to imagine that under all these pretences of religion lurked 
some political scheme. The Pharisees, as we know, had made 
league with the Herodians against Jesus, and were fomenting 
malignant jealousies. For these reasons it is not strange that 
Jesus sought to allay enthusiasm, rather than to inflame curiosity. 
But it was impossible ; his words had no more effect than dew 
upon a burning prairie. 

Is this surprising? What if in one of our villages such a 
scene as the healing of the leper, or the curing of the paralytic, 




should take place ? For about this tmie it was that in a " cer- 
tain city" — what city we know not — Jesus saw one approach- 
ing him whose dress marked him as a leper. By law the leper 
had no right to come near to any one. He was bound, if any 
one approached him unawares, to lift up a wail of warning : " Un- 
clean ! unclean ! " Such, however, was the repute of Jesus for 
divine sympath}^, that even lepers long used to unkindness and 
neglect -foro-ot their habits of seclusion and avoidance. Right 
before the feet of the Master fell a leper upon his face, and with 
intense supplication "besought" him: "Lord, if thou wilt, thou 
canst make me clean." 

It was not needful to touch this loathsome creature. A word 
would heal him. But a word would not express the tenderness 
and yearning sympathy of the Saviour's heart. "And Jesus, 
moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and 
saith unto him, "I will; be thou clean." 

That Jesus commanded him to go and exhibit himself, with 
appropriate offerings, to the Jewish priests, may seem strange, 
when we consider how free Jesus himself was from the conven- 
tionalism of his age. There does not seem to be an instance 
in which he ever set aside an original Mosaic rite or institute. 
It was the additions made by the Pharisees that he pushed 
away without reverence, and even with rejiugnance. No other 
Jew was more observant of the original religious institutes of 
Moses than he who came to "fulfil the law." He went behind 
the tradition of the elders to the Law itself: na}^, he accepted 
the commands of Moses because they coincided with the Divine 
will. " Ye have made the commandment of God of none effect by 
your tradition." 

In no w\ay w\as the leper capable of expressing his gratitude 
religiously other than by the customs of his own people. He 
had not learned the higher forms of spiritual life. He must 
speak his thanks to God in the language which he had learned, 
even if some other were a better language. All the expedients 
of external worship in this world are but crutches to weak souls. 
The true worship is in spirit. It requires neither altar, nor priest, 
nor uttered prayer, but only the grateful heart, open before Him 
who knows better than any one can tell Him all that men would 



The healed leper, however, did not obey the injunction. Car- 
ried away with overpowering joy, he went blazing abroad the 
deed of mercy. Can we wonder ? Leprosy was a living death. 
The worst form of the disease, as it is seen in Palestine to-day, 
is described by Thomson in these words : "The hair falls off 
from the head and eyebrows ; the nails loosen, decay, and drop 
off; joint after joint of the fingers and toes shrinks up and slowly 
fiUls away. The gums are absorbed and the teeth disappear. 
The nose, the eyes, the tongue, and the palate are slowly con- 
sumed ; and finally the wretched victim sinks into the earth and 
disappears, while medicine has no power to stay the ravages of 
this fell disease, or even to mitigate sensibly its tortures." ^ 

With what sensations must health be received back by this 
exile from society, seeing life afar off, but not participating in 
its joys ! In one instant his skin was sweet and smooth, his fiice 
comely, his breath wholesome. He might again clasp his mother 
in his arms ! He might take little children upon his knee ! The 
lips of love would not now shrink from the kiss which so long 
lay withered upon his lips ! What marvel if his joy rang through 
the region round about, and roused up other suffering wretches, 
who went thronging toward the city, hopeful of a like cure ? 
Nor were they disappointed. The narratives of the Evangelists 
clearly imply that whole neighborhoods turned out with their 
sick, and returned with every invalid healed. As a frost kills 
malaria, or a wind sweeps impurity from the sultry air, so the 
words of Jesus seemed to purify the fountains of health in whole 
districts. None of all that came were refused. It- is in vain to 
explain away the miraculous element in the few cases which 
are given in detail, unless some natural solution can be found 
for the healing of hundreds and thousands, repeatedly effected 
at different times and in different neidiborhoods. 

At length, when the beneficence of healing had completed its 
work, Jesus retreated from the excitement, from the curiosity, 
the admiration, the criticism, the importunity of enthusiasm and 
affection, and hid himself in the near solitudes. The love of 
solitude is strikingly shown in Jesus. Nothing exhausts one so 
soon as sympathy with the active sorrows of men. Drawn out 
on every side by men's needs, he regained his equilibrium in the 

^ The Land and the Book, (American edition.) Vol. II. p. 519. 

eg ^ 



" wilderness." It was there too that his thoughts rose into com- 
munion Avith his Father. What reminiscences of heaven had he ? 
What dim memories of his former life and joy came to him? 
Was not the silence of solitude full of whispers from the spirit 
land? No one can tell. There are many who can testify that 
to them the solitudes that lie near to every side of life have 
been as the dawn of the morning after a troubled night, as a 
cool shadow in the hot noon, — a fountain in a great and weary 

That Jesus did not confine his religious instructions to Sab- 
bath days, and that he occupied other places than the syna- 
gogues, is plain from the accounts of his sermons from boats to 
the people assemljled on the shore, and of his discoursing on 
the mountain-side, and is seen in an occurrence which took jDlace 
soon after his return to Capernaum from his first circuit. He 
was sitting in a private dwelling. It was soon noised abroad 
in the city. Out rushed hundreds to find him. The court of 
the house was choked with the crowd ; the streets were thronged. 
There was " no room to receive them, no, not so much as about 
the door : and he preached the word unto them." While he Avas 
thus engaged, four men were seen bearing upon a litter between 
them a poor paralj'tic, and seeking to penetrate the crowd. Im- 
possible ! An eager throng, made up of persons each seeking 
some advantage for himself, and moved by no common impulse 
but that of selfishness, is harder to be penetrated than stone 
walls and wooden structures. All at once, as Jesus was teach- 
ing, without doubt in such a one-story house as is still to be seen 
in that same neighborhood, the roof above his head was parted, 
— as from its construction could easily be done, and as was fre- 
quently done for various purposes, — and through the opening 
was let down before him the unhappy patient ! Struck with 
their confident fiiith, Jesus, interrupted in his discourse, natu- 
rally conferred that favor which to him was unspeakably greater 
than any other: "Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven 
thee ! " 

Instantly a hum of voices was heard. Confusion arose ; for 
he was preaching, not to unlettered citizens alone, but to an un- 
usual number of the dignitaries of the synagogue and Temple. 
" There were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which 




were come out of every town of Galilee and Juduea and Jeru- 
salem." The bare enunciation of the forgiveness of sins could 
hardly have disturbed these worthies. It must be that Jesus 
uttered the words with the air of sovereignty. It was one of 
those moments in which his Divine nature shone out with radi- 
ance. The Pharisees plainly regarded him as acting in his own 
right, and assuming authority to forgive sins, which was a Divine 
prerogative. They cried out, "Blasphemy! blasphemy!" They 
challenged him on the spot: "Who can forgive sins, but God 
alone ? " Jesus accepted their construction, and after some words 
of reasoning replied, " That ye may know that the Son of Man 
hath power on earth to forgive sins," — turning to the sick man, 
— "Arise, take up thy bed, and go thy way unto thine house." 
To the doctors there could be but one interpretation of this re- 
sponse. It was an unequivocal claim of Divinity. 

Men sufferin"' from hallucinations have claimed for themselves 
dignities and titles transcendently above their merit. One must 
be himself suffering from an hallucination who can imagine 
Jesus at this period of his development to be over-heated in 
brain, or fanatical. His wonderful discourse, which drew and 
fascinated alike the rudest and the most learned, his calmness, 
his self-forgetfulness, and his tender sympathy for others, are 
inconsistent with any supposition of a tainted reason, and still 
less with an over-swollen pride and self-conceit. And yet, Avlien 
his attention was called to the fact that forgiveness of sin was a 
Divine prerogative, he did not explain that it was a delegated 
authority, but reaftirmed his right to forgive of his own proper 
self, and wrought a miracle in attestation of that right. 

That his whole bearing was unusually impressive is plam from 
the effect produced upon the common people in the crowd. 
They had seen repeated instances of healing and of other works 
of mercy. But there was in this case something more than is 
set forth in the narrative, and which must have been effected 
by the majesty of his person and the greatness of his spirit ; 
for as they dispersed they went softly and awe-stricken, saying 
one to another, "We have seen strange things to-day," — "We 
never saw it on this fashion." Luke says, " They marvelled, and 
were filled with fear." Matthew says they " glorified God, which 
had given such power unto men." What the Pharisees and the 


^ ^ 


doctors said we do not know. That some of them may have 
been inwardly convinced that this was the Messiah, is qviite prob- 
able ; but that the most of them were only the more enraged 
and set against Jesus, is more than probable. 

It will be recollected that, soon after his baptism, Jesus gath- 
ered a few disciples from among those who companied with John. 
Although they were found and called in Judsea, yet they all 
lived in Galilee, went back with him on his return thither, and 
are mentioned as guests with him at the marriage in Cana. 
During the long intervals of quiet and seclusion which Jesus 
seems to have had during the first year after his baptism, they 
seem to have gone back to their occupations, and awaited, doubt- 
less, the signal which should recall them to him. Jesus was, in 
the eyes of his people, a Rabbi, or learned teacher, although 
probably he was deemed irregular, and was out of favor with the 
heads of schools. He followed all the customs of his people when 
they were innocent ; and in his teaching career he undoubtedly 
pursued the course which was common among Rabbis, of gath- 
ering classes of pupils, and living with them, and even upon 
their contributions. The pupils were expected, under due reg- 
ulation, to diffuse among others the knowledge which they re- 
ceived from their Rabbi. They sometimes expounded to the 
people under the eye of their teacher ; and as they advanced in 
capacity, they were sent out upon circuits of their own. Great 
pains Avas taken among the Jews to promote education. Large 
schools existed in Palestine, and in other lands whither the Jews 
had migrated. In these schools was taught the whole round 
of knowledge then existing; — theology, philosophy, jurispru- 
dence, astronomy, astrology, medicine, botany, geography, arith- 
metic, architecture, social duties, etiquette, and even trades, were 
taught. Indeed, it was the boast of eminent Rabbis that they 
had learned a trade, and could, if need be, support themselves 
by their own hands, without depending upon fees for tuition; 
and they prided themselves upon titles derived from trades ; — 
as. Rabbi Simon, the tveaver ; Rabbi Ismael, the needle-maJcer ; 
Rabbi Jochanan, the shoemaker. This will suggest Paul's occupa- 
tion, that of a tent-maker. 

Besides the teaching of these high schools or colleges, instruc- 






tion was provided for children, and throughout Palestine there 
prevailed no inconsiderable zeal in the cause of popular edu- 
cation. Through the more elementary schools it is almost 
certahi that Jesus and his disciples had passed, and equally 
sure that they had not studied in the higher seminaries or col- 

The method of instruction pursued in Jewish schools throws 
hght upon the course pursued by our Lord. The mode of im- 
parting knowledge was chiefly catechetical. After the master 
had lectured, the pupils asked questions. To stir up their pupils 
if they grew dull, allegories, riddles, and stories were intro- 
duced. The parable was a favorite device with the Jewish 
teacher. He often propounded questions, and, if his pupils could 
not answer, solved them himself. Christ's method then was that 
of his age and countrymen, with only such differences as might 
arise from different personality. Instruction from village to vil- 
lage ; a company of pupils going with hnn, both as learners and 
assistants ; the familiar and colloquial style of discourse ; the use 
of parables and of enigmatical sentences ; — these were all fa- 
miliar to his times. It was in matter, and not in manner, that 
he differed from ordinary teachers. 



The time had now come for the permanent formation of his 
disciple-family, and it took place at or near Capernaum. We are 



charmed with the picture which is given of the morning scene 
on the shores of Genesareth. It breathes the very air of reahty, 
and its simphcity gives a clear picture of our Lord's manner. It 
was early dawn, and those whose avocations called them to the 
busy shore were making the most of the cool hours. Jesus came 
quietly to the water's edge, and stood watching certain fisher- 
men who had hauled their nets upon the beach and were wash- 
ing and putting them in order. He was not left to himself; for 
the people, as soon as they knew him, began to press around 
him with questions and solicitations. As they began to close in, 
he stepped upon one of the fishing-boats, and, pushing out a 
little, turned to the rude but eager crowd and delivered a dis- 
course to them. His theme was doubtless taken from something 
which lay before him. That was his custom. Both text and 
sermon have perished with the people to whom they were 
spoken. As soon as he had finished, he commanded Simon to 
push out into deep water and let down his net. Simon, prompt 
to speak and over-confident, first excused himself on the ground 
that they had been trying all night and that there was no use in 
trying again ; and then, having eased his wilfulness, he complied 
with the request. No sooner was this done than such a mul- 
titude of fish was secured as they had never seen at any time 
before. Indeed, Simon saw in it a Divine power. His boldness 
and familiarity forsook him. He stood before a superior being, 
and his own unworthiness was the first impression which seized 
him. " He fell down at Jesus's knees, saying. Depart from me ; 
for I am a sinful man, Lord." Not fir aAvay were the broth- 
ers, James and John, who had a partnership with Simon. Them 
also Jesus called. Without ado, and unhesitatingly, they for- 
sook their property and their occupation, and from this time did 
not leave him. They could not mistake the import of his call : 
" Follow me. I will from henceforth make you to become fishers 
of men." The whole scene is natural and harmonious. There 
was no striking assumption of authority. Fishermen were ap- 
proached through their own business, by methods which were 
adapted to their habits and ideas. 

The call of Levi, better known by the name of Matthew, is 
recorded more briefly. He was a tax-gatherer under the Roman 
government. It was an ungracious office. It was the last po- 


#- -^ 


sition in which to look for an apostle. Collecting customs-dues 
of his own people to feed the court of Herod and to uphold 
the Roman usurpation, wdth profit to himself, was not likely to 
endear him to his countrymen, nor to prepare his own heart for 
the unremunerative and wandering life of self-denial to which 
he was called. Yet there was in the few simple words of Je- 
sus a charm that wrought instantly. "Follow me." "And he 
arose," ("left all," says Luke,) "and followed him." 

It is not unlikely that Matthew, like Simon, John, James, and 
Philip, had already been a disciple of Christ, and like them had 
never separated himself from his regular business ; so that the 
call, which seems to us so sudden, was far less peremptory and 
unexpected to him than it seems in the narrative. 

We are not to confound the outside disciples of Christ with the 
inner circle, — the flimily of his Apostles, — who were called 
" that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth 
to preach." His Apostles were disciples, but all his disciples 
were not Apostles. 

There was collected in every circuit a large disciple band with- 
out organization, attached to his ministrations, rather than to his 
person. Of the company of twelve disciples there were three 
pairs of brothers. All of them were Galileans. All were from 
the humbler walks of life, though in several instances they were 
not poor. Levi had a house of his own, and could give to his 
Master a " great feast." James and John, sons of Zebedee, con- 
ducted a business which enabled them to employ under-servants ; 
and their mother, Salome, " ministered of her substance " to the 
Master's support. It is impossible, from the materials at our 
command, to ascertain upon wdiat principle of selection the dis- 
ciples were gathered. But few of them asserted any such 
individuality as to bring their names into view during the min- 
istry of Jesus. 

The evil record of Judas will keep his name in memory, 
Peter was conspicuous through the whole career. John was 
specially associated with the Master. With Peter and John was 
associated James, though little except his name appears in the 
Gospel narratives. They were all selected from the common 
walks of life. None of them give evidence of peculiar depth of 
religious feeling. None except John ever exhibited any traits of 


[g-- ^ 


genius. That they were subject to the common faults of hu- 
manity abundantly appears in their disputes among themselves, 
in their worldly ambitions, in the plotting' to supersede each 
other, in their rash and revengeful imprecations of judgments 
upon the villagers who had treated Jesus with disrespect, and in 
their utter lack of courage when the final catastrophe was ap- 
proaching. They partook of all the errors of their age. They 
were as little competent to understand the spiritual teachings 
of their Master as were the average of their countrymen. They 
believed in an earthly kingdom for the Messiah, and, with the 
rest of their people, anticipated a carnal triumph of the Jews 
over all their enemies. They could not be made to understand 
that their Master was to be put to death; and when he was 
arrested, they "all forsook him and fled." They hovered in be- 
wilderment around the solemn tragedy ; but only one of them, 
John, had the courage to be present and near at the crucifix- 
ion of their Teacher. Looking externally upon these men, con- 
trasting them with such as Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, 
the question arises whether among all the more highly cultivated 
Jews, among the Pharisees and doctors, there might not have 
been found sincere men, of deeply religious natures, of educated 
intelligence, Avho, under the same amount of personal instruction, 
would have been far more capable of carrying forward the work 
of the new kingdom. All that can be known is, that Jesus 
chose his disciples, not from Judasa, but from Galilee, far away 
from the Temple influence and in a province much affected by 
the foreign spirit ; that he selected them, not from the specifi- 
cally religious class, but from the working peojDle. None are 
mentioned as taken from agricultural pursuits, and all whose 
occupations are mentioned were more or less concerned with 
commerce. That there were reasons in his own mind for the 
selection none can doubt, and none can ever know what the rea- 
sons were. That he felt for his immediate followers a strong 
affection is plain, and that his regard was strengthened to the 
end of his life can be doubted by none who read those incom- 
parable discourses of love which immediately preceded his arrest, 
and which John alone records, — John, the most impassioned, 
the most susceptible, and at length the most perfect representa- 
tive of his Master's spirit. 



It will be well to look back, before considering that remark- 
able discourse of Christ's, familiarly called the '' Sermon on the 
Mount," and to consider the character of his teaching in this the 
first period of his ministry. We shall be struck with three 
things : the stimulating character indicated, the remarkable part- 
nership of word and deed, and the absence of any public claim 
to the Messiahship. This latter fact is the more remarkable, 
since, in his conversation with the woman of Samaria, he dis- 
tinctly avows himself to be the Messiah. Nowhere is there evi- 
dence that he proclaimed this truth in his public discourses, and 
in the abstracts and fragments which w^ere preserved there is 
nothing of the* kind. Neither does there seem to have been that 
presentation of himself as the source of spiritual life that is so 
wonderful at a later stage of his teaching. He apparently aimed 
first at the work of arousing the moral sense of the people. His 
characteristic theme at first was, " Repent ! The kingdom of 
heaven is at hand ! " It is not to be supposed that he went 
from place to place uttering these Avords as a text or formula. 
They rather describe the genius of his preaching. It aroused in 
men an ideal and expectation of a nobler life than they and 
their fellows were living ; and stimulated a wholesome moral dis- 
content. Men's hearts were laid open. Not only their sins, but 
the sources and motives of their evil deeds, were made bare. 
Then his audiences began to hear a vivid exposition of life. Un- 
like the Rabbis, he did not spend his time in mincing texts with 
barren ingenuity. Men heard their actions called in question. . 
They heard their pride, their selfishness, their avarice, their lusts, 
so exposed that self-condemnation w^as everywhere mingled with 
w^onder and admiration. 

The effects of his teaching were heightened by the humanity 
of his miracles, and the tender sympathy which he manifested 
for the temporal comfort of men, as well as for their spiritual 
well-being. Miracles were not mere explosions of power, de- 
signed to excite transient wonder. They were instruments of 
kindness ; they unsealed fountains of joy long closed ; they 
tended to rectify the disorders which afflicted thousands of un- 
happy and neglected wretches; they gave emphasis to instruc- 
tion ; they ratified his exhortations ; they gave solemnity to 
his simple methods. The miracles of Christ cannot be taken out 

^ ^ 

a- .- 


of their life-connections and analyzed by themselves. They 
were to his teaching what gestures are to an orator, that go 
with his thoughts, and taken alone are of no value. They 
were the glowing expressions of sympathy. As in the moods 
of love, the eye, the lip, the face, have expressions that can- 
not be separated from the emotions which produce them, so 
was it with Christ's works of mercy. They were not philosophi- 
cal experiments upon nature, nor premeditated evidences of 
power. They were the inspirations of a tender sympathy with 
human suffering, the flashes of the light of love, the arms of 
God stretched forth for the rescue or consolation of the poor 
and needy. 

While the early preaching of Jesus seems to have been of the 
most arousing character, we are not to suppose that instructive- 
ness was sacrificed, nor that the next period, beginning with the 
"Sermon on the Mount," was devoid of pungency because the 
instructive elements predominated. Only to arouse men, and to 
leave them no solid substance of thought, is to kindle a fire of 
shavings that but flames up and dies in ashes. 

The words of Christ, primarily addressed to the people of his 
own age and country, carried in them truths so deep and uni- 
versal, that, like an inexhaustible soil, they have fed the roots 
of religious life for the world ever since, and have had a stronger 
hold upon the intellect and the fancy than that Grecian litera- 
ture which for philosophical acuteness, for grace, and for quali- 
ties of the imagination would seem far more likely to control 
the world of thought than the homely domestic aphorisms and 
parables of the Saviour. In every element of external excellence 
the Greek surpassed the Hebrew. But the Hebrew carried in 
his soul two worlds, the Greek only one. The Greek was busy 
with the world he lived in ; the Hebrew concerned himself with 
the folks that lived in the world. More than this, it was the 
inspiration of the life to come that gave such enduring force 
to the teaching of Jesus. His sympathy with both sides of hu- 
man experience, its joy and its sorrow, its genial domestic tran- 
quillity and its outreach and enterprise, its sweet contentment 
and its passionate aspiration, gave to his teachings a quality not 
to be found in any school but his. And, above all other things, 
his teachings had himself for a background. He was the per- 

[^_ ^ ^ 

• -tb 


petual illustration of his own words, the interpretation of the 
deeper sj^iritual enigmas. 

And yet there is an important sense in which the preaching 
of Jesus was strangely unworldly. It was not such discourse as 
in Greece made orators famous. So devoid was it of secular 
elements, that one would not know from it that Palestine was 
overrun with foreigners, — that the iron hand and iron heel of 
Rome wellnigh pressed the life out of the nation, — that the 
provinces were glowing with luxuries, cities everywhere spring- 
ing up, while the people, ground down by extortion, were be- 
coming wretched and desperate. Jesus was a Jew, susceptible 
and sympathetic to a remarkable degree. There w^as never such 
a field for patriotic oratory. But amid insurrections cruelly 
quelled, amid the anguish of his people, he let fall no single 
word of secular eloquence. Amidst the tumults of war and the 
prodigalities of foreign luxury and wasteful dissipation was heard 
the calm discourse of heavenly themes. It w^as of the soul, of 
that new and possible soul, that he spake, — and so spake that 
all the nation took heed, and the sordid common people, rushing 
after him for bread, paused, listened, and, wondering, declared 
"he speaks with authority." Something more critical of his 
method of discourse we shall submit by and by. Here w^e only 
point out the eminent unworldliness of it, and the introduction 
of a searching personal element unknown before, but now so 
much a part of Christianity that we fail to appreciate its origi- 
nality in Christ. We mean the individualizing of discourse to 
each heart, so that every man felt that it was addressed to him, 
concerning himself, — his spiritual self. 

CQ-.— ^ 




THE customs of his country would naturally lead Jesus to 
be much abroad, and he seems to have had a peculiar love 
for the open fields. His journeys, his habits of teaching by the 
way, his frequent resorting to the sea-side and to the solitude 
of the hills, impress one with the belief that he loved the open 
air far more than the house or the street. It is certain that while 
at Capernaum he had sought out places of seclusion, and had 
his own familiar haunts. These were not simply for rest to the 
body, but also for meditation and for communion with his 
Father. Wherever he went, Jesus found out these natural 
sanctuaries ; while for the benefit of others he often taught in 
synagogues and in the Temple, for his own refreshment he loved 
better the wilderness, the lake-shore, the hill-top, the shaded 
ravine, or the twilight of the olive-groves. 

Such a resort he found on the summit of Mount Hattin, a 
hill rising from the plain about seven miles southwesterly from 
Capernaum. It was more an upland than a mountain. The 
two horns, or summits, rise only sixty feet above the table-lands 
which constitute the base, and the whole elevation is but about 
a thousand feet above the level of the sea. From the summit 
toward the east one may look over the Sea of Galilee, and north- 
ward, along the broken ranges, to the snow-clad peaks of Leb- 

' " This mountain, or hill, — for it only rises sixty feet above the plain, — is that known 
to jnlgrims as the Mount of the Beatitudes, the supposed scene of the Sermon on the 
Mount. The tradition cannot lay claim to any early date ; it was in all probability 
suggested first to the Crusaders by its remarkable situation. But that situation so strik- 
ingly coincides with the intimations of the Gospel narrative as almost to force the infer- 
ence that in this instance the eyes of those who selected the spot were for once rightly 
directed. It is the only height seen in this direction from the shores of the Lake of Gen- 

^ ^ 





111 liiiiJiik- 1 iilliiililfc'fc.: iiiti 

iiifi ;i!i:iiiiiililliliJlilllllliiiliiilii]jilillliliilliilllilllli 

— -^ 


Returning from a preaching tour, Jesus, and with him the 
immense and motley throng that now everywhere pressed upon 
him, reached this neighborhood at evening. Not waiting for 
his voluntary blessings, the multitudes sought to touch his very 
crarments, that they might receive benefit from that virtue 
which seemed to emanate from his person. Gliding from among 
them as the shadows fell, he hid himself from their nnportu- 
nity in some part of the mountain. Here he spent the night ni 


There is no part of the history of Jesus that stn^s the im- 
ao-ination more profoundly than these solitary nights, in lonely 
pkces, spent in prayer. It surely was not a service of mere 
recitation, nor such implorations as the soul, wounded by sm, 
full of fear and remorse, pours out before God. We must con- 
ceive of it\as a holy conference with God. He who came down 
from heaven again returns to its communion. Weighed down 
and impaired by evil, the soul of man sometimes rises above 
the consciousness of its bodily condition, and rejoices m an 
almost accomplished liberty. Much more may we suppose that 
in these hours of retirement the sinless soul of the Saviour, 
loosed from all consciousness of physical fatigue, hunger, or 
slumberous languor, rejoined its noble companions, tasted agam 
its former liberty, and walked with God. But we can hardly 
suppose that in these exalted hours he forgot those who all day 
long tasked his sympathy. Did not he who on the cross prayed 
for his enemies, on the mountain pray for his friends ? ^ Did not 
he who now "ever liveth to make intercession" for his folio w- 

esireth The plain on .vluch it stands is easily accessible from the lake, and from that 
plain to the sumnut is but a few minutes' walk. The platform at the top is evidently 
suitable for the collection of a multitude, and corresponds precisely to the 'level place 
(Luke vi. 17, mistranslated 'plain') to which he would 'come down' as from one oi 
its hic^her horns to address the people. Its situation is central both to the peasants 
of theVxalilean hills and the fishermen of the Galilean lake, between whic-h it stands, 
and would therefore be a natural resort both to Jesus and his disciples (Matthew iv. 
25 -V. 1) when they retired for solitude from the shores of the sea, and also to the 
crowds who assembled 'from Galilee, from Decapolis, from Jerusalem, from Jud^a, and 
from beyond Jordan.' None of the other mountains in the neighborhood could answer 
equally well to this description, inasmuch as they are merged into the undorm barrier of 
hi^ils round the lake, whereas this stands separate,-' the mountain _ wln,.h alone could 
lay claim to a distinct name, with the exception of the one height of Tabor, which is 
too distant to answer the requirements." - Stanley's Sinai and PalesUne, pp. 360, 
361 (■2d ed. 368, 369). 




ers intercede often, when he was with them, for the throng of 
ignorant, impoverished, bewildered people that swarmed about 
his footsteps ? 

Neither Mark nor John mentions the Sermon on the Mount, 
which was delivered on the morning following this retirement. 
Luke gives a condensed report of it, adding, however, the Avoes 
which correspond to the Beatitudes. Matthew gives by far the 
fullest recital of it. Luke says that he stood upon the plain 
(or, a level place), but Matthew, that he went up out of the 
plain to the mountain, and there delivered the discourse. 
When, after a night of prayer, Jesus came down to the lower 
parts of the hill, he found there the great crowds Avliich the day 
before had attended him. Nor is it imlikely that he addressed 
to them words of instruction. Then, withdrawing higher up 
the hill, accompanied by the Apostles and hy numbers of his 
general disciples, he sat down, as was the manner of Jewish 
instructors, and delivered the discourse recorded by Matthew. 
Luke, not having been a witness of the scene, and manifestly 
giving but a partial and general account of it, naturally speaks 
of the sermon as delivered on the plain, because the multitude 
was there, and because Jesus came down and began his in- 
structions there. Matthew, who was present as one of the 
recently selected Apostles, gives the main discourse of the 
day, and states also, that, on account of the multitude, Jesus 
retired flirther up the mountain before delivering it. But 
though addressed to his more immediate disciples, it is not 
to be supposed that they alone heard the discourse. It was 
natural that many of the throng should follow them. This 
would be especially the case with those in whose hearts the 
word had begun to excite a spiritual hunger, and who, though 
not ready to call themselves disciples, lost no opportunity of 
increasing their knowledge. 

The opinion that Matthew collected from his Master's various 
teachings at different times the elements of the Sermon on 
the Mount, and arranged them into one discourse, although 
formerly held by many, and by one of no less repute than 
Calvin, has lost ground, and is now taught by only a few. The 
fact that portions of the matter of this sermon appear in the 
other Gospels as spoken under different circumstances may 

^ ^ 



make it probable that Jesus repeated important truths or strik- 
ing illustrations to diflerent audiences.^ It is not, therefore, 
unlikely that portions of the Sermon on the Mount were thus 
delivered elsewhere and under other circumstances. 

That contrast between the Sermon on the Mount and the 
giving of the law on Sinai, which from an early day it has 
been the delight of commentators to suggest, has in fact more 
reason than one is likely at first to suppose. No contrast could 
be greater than the gaunt and barren wilderness of Sinai and 
the luxuriant fields of Galilee about the Sea of Genesareth ; nor 
could the blighted peaks of Sinai well have a more absolute 
contrast than in the fruitful slopes of Hattin, which in suc- 
cessive ledges declined toward the lake, at every step beautiful 
with diversified vegetation and redolent with the odors of fruits 
and blossoms. If the more ancient assembly were taking the 
first steps from a servile existence to a national life of inde- 
pendence, so the multitudes that thronged to hear the Sermon 
on the Mount were about to be inducted into a new spiritual life. 
The law given from Sinai was a law of morality, and chiefly con- 
cerned the outward conduct. The Sermon on the Mount is like- 
wise a discourse of morality, but transcendently higher than 
that which was written upon the tables of stone. The root of 
morality is always the same, but at difierent stages of its growth 
it puts forth different developments. In the Cvarly and rude 
state of nations it concerns itself with outward affairs, rigorously 
guards the laws by which alone society can exist, and preserves 
the life, the person, and the property of the citizen. As civiliza- 
tion refines men's nature, and brings into power more of reason 
and of moral sentiment, morality, still guarding external things, 
adds to its charge the interior qualities of the disposition, and 
holds men responsible, not only for actions, but for the motives 
of action. It extends its sway over the realm of thought, 
emotion, and the will. Thus it adds province to province, until 
the boundary between morality and the purest spiritual religion 
is indistinguishable ; and men at length see that morality, in 
the ordinary sense of the term, is religion applied to human 

* Compare Matthew v. 18, and Luke xii. 58; Matthew vi. 19-21. and Luke xii. 33; 
Matthew vi. 24, and Luke xvi. 13 ; Matthew vii. 13, and Luke xiii. 24 ; Matthew vii. 22, 
and Luke xiii. 25 - 27, 




conduct, while religion is but morality acting in the sphere 
of the spiritual sentiments. 

Jesus came to bring a new growth to the old roots, to bring 
into bloom that which had only shown leaves, and into fruit that 
wdiich had hitherto only blossomed. All the superstitions and 
burdensome ceremonials W'hich overlaid the simplicity of the 
original statutes of Moses were to be rescinded, and the ma- 
chinery of the Mosaic Law itself, not the moral element of it, was 
to be abrogated. But that great law of universal love which 
was to bind men to each other, and all of them to God, Jesus 
declared to be at the foundation of the Jewish religion. The 
whole civil and ceremonial system of the Hebrews aimed at 
the production of universal love. 

One would scarcely know from the Sermon on the Mount 
whether the Jews had altar or temple, priests or ritual. The 
pure wheat is here garnered; the straw and chaff, so needful 
for its growth, but now in its ripeness so useless, and even per- 
nicious, were cleared away. It is a discourse of the past for the 
sake of the future. 

To interpret the Sermon on the Mount as the charter of 
Christianity, is to misconceive not only this discourse, but the 
very nature of Christianity itself, which is not a system of new 
truths, but a higher development of existing forces. 

The fulness of time had come. Man was to be lifted to a 
higher j)lane, and made accessible to more powerful influences 
than could be exerted through the old dispensation. Out of 
that grand renewal of human nature there w^ould spring up 
truths innumerable, the products of Christianity. But Chris- 
tianity itself Avas not a system of truths, nor the result of a 
.system of truths, but a name for living forces. It was a new 
dispensation of power, an efflux of the Divine Spirit, developing 
the latent spiritual forces in man. It was the kingdom of God 
amonsr men. It was like the diffusion of a new and more fer- 
vid climate over a whole continent. A development and per- 
fection would follow, never before known, and impossible to a 
lower temperature. The one silver thread which runs through 
the Gospels and the Epistles, and binds them into unity, is the 
indwelling of the Divine Spirit in the human soul, and the 
enlarged scope and power of human life by reason of it. 




John saw the radiant khigdom descending when he cried, 
^' There cometh one mightier than I after me, .... he shall 
baptize you with the Holy Ghost." And when Jesns came, 
the same truth was thrown forward in advance of all others: 
" The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Cast out all evil ! Lay 
open your souls to the Divine coming ! " Repentance and for- 
giveness were not the gospel. The kingdom of God among 
men, an exaltation of .the race by the Divine union with it, 
the wisdom of God and the power of God unto salvation, — 
this was the good news. 

But the Sermon on the Mount is deficient in precisely these 
elements. It has in it no annunciation of a new dispensation. 
That flame of fire, the Spirit of God, is not mentioned. Jesus 
does not there claim for himself any vital relation to the human 
soul ; that faiih which so largely filled his subsequent teachings 
is not alluded to. He does not even claim the Messiahship. 
There is no word of his sufferings and death, nor of his future 
mediation, nor of the doctrine of repentance and the new birth. 
Can that be an epitome of Christianity which leaves out the 
great themes which filled the later teaching of Jesus ? 

The Sermon on the Mount gathers up the sum of all that had 
been gained under the Jewish dispensation, — distinguishes be- 
tween the original and genuine elements of truth in the Jewish 
belief, and the modern and perverse inculcations of the Rabbis, 
— and, above all, gives to familiar things a new spiritual force 
and authority. 

At the threshold of the new life it was wise to ascertain what 
was real and what fictitious in the belief of the people. A 
repudiation of the Law and the prophets would have bewildered 
their moral ^ense ; but the truth of their fiithers, cleansed from 
glosses, pure and simple, would become the instrument for Avork- 
ing that very repentance which would prepare them for the 
new life of God in the soul. 

Men are fond of speaking of the originaUty of the Sermon 
on the Mount; but originality would have defeated its very 
aim. All growth must sprout from roots pre-existing in the 
soul. There can be no neiv, except by the help of some old. 
To have spread out a novel field of unfamiliar truth before the 
people might have led them to speculation, but could not have 



aroused their conscience, nor rebuked the degradation of their 
natures and the sordidness of their lives. It was the very aim 
of the Sermon on the Mount to place before the Jews, in the 
clearest light, the great truths out of which sprung their Law 
and their prophets, as a preparation for the new and higher 
developments that would come afterwards. In so doing Jesus 
put himself into the confidence of his own people. To the 
sober-minded among his countrj-men he never seemed a sub- 
verter of Hebrew customs, or an innovator upon the national 
religion. He Avas recognized everywhere by the common peo- 
ple, and by all earnest natures not wrought into the Pharisaic 
party, as a genuine Hebrew prophet, standing on the very 
ground of the fathers, and enunciating old and familiar truths, 
but giving to them a scope and a spiritual elevation which, 
though new, was neither strange nor unnatural. 

The Sermon on the Mount, then, being in the nature of an 
historical review, could not be original. It was a criticism of 
the received doctrine. Every part of it brings down to us the 
odor and flavor of the best days and the ripest things of the 
Old Testament dispensation. It was the mount from which 
men looked over into the promised land of the spirit. Even 
the Beatitudes, an exquisite prelude, which seems like a solemn 
li^nui sung before* a service, are but a collection and better 
ordering of maxims or aphorisms which existed in the Old Tes- 

Already Isaiah had heard God saying, " I dwell in the high 
and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble 
spirit." And the Psalmist had said, "A broken and a contrite 
heart, God, thou wilt not despise." Already the prophet had 
promised " Beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and 
the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness " ; and the 
wise man had said, " Sorrow is better than laughter." From 
the Psalmist were taken almost the words of benediction to 
the meek: "The meek shair inherit the earth, and shall delight 
themselves in the abundance of peace." Where is there a 
hunger and thirst of the soul, if it be not recorded in the 
forty-second Psalm? This Psalm is broken into two, the forty- 
second and forty-third, and three times the refrain comes in, 
"I shall yet praise him who is the help of my countenance." 

eg g] 

^ ^ 

thjE sermon on the mount. 237 

There are abundant blessings prononnced npon the merciful, 
upon the pure in heart, upon the persecuted for righteousness' 
sake ; and even in the old warlike age peace was not uncele- 
brated. If there be no distinct blessing for peacemakers, there 
are numberless woes denounced against those who stir up strife 
and cruel war. 

The Beatitudes, then, were not new principles ; the truth in 
them had been recognized before. They were truths hidden in 
the very nature of the soul, and, in the best sense, natural. 
But formerly they lay scattered as pearls not detached from 
the parent shell, or as rough diamonds unground. Here they 
first appear in brilliant setting. They are no longer happy 
sayings, but sovereign principles. They always spoke with 
instructiveness, but now with authority, as if they wore crowns 
upon their heads. 

There was a noble strangeness in them. The whole world was 
acting in a spirit contrary to them. They conflicted with every 
sentiment and maxim of common life. On a lonely hill-top sat 
one known to have been reared as a mechanic, pronouncing to a 
group of peasants, fishermen, mechanics, and foreigners the sub- 
lime truths of the higher and interior life of the soul, Avliich 
have since by universal consent been deemed the noblest utter- 
ances of earth. The traveller may to-day stand in Antwerp, 
near the old cathedral, hearing all the clatter of business, a 
thousand feet tramping close up to the walls and buttresses 
ai»:ainst which lean the booths, a thousand ton^-ues rattlino- the 
language of traffic, when, as the hour strikes from above, a 
shower of notes seems to descend from the spire, — bell notes, 
fine, sweet, small as a bird's warble, the whole air full of crisp 
tinklings, underlaid by the deeper and sonorous tones of large 
bells, but all of them in fit sequences pouring forth a melody 
that seems unearthly, and the more because in such contrast 
with the scenes of vulgar life beneath. In some such way must 
these words have fallen upon the multitude. 

Whether the audience felt the sweetness and exquisite beauty 
of Christ's opening sentences we cannot know. They are the 
choicest truths of the old dispensation set to the spirit of the 
new. But not until, like bells, they were thus set in chimes 
and rung in the spirit and melody of the spiritual age, could 

^ ^ 



one have dreamed how noble they were. And what blessings ! 
When before did such a company of ills and misfortunes find 
themselves mustered and renamed ? No word of commenda- 
tion for wealth, or favor, or high estate, or power, or pleasure. 
For all that the world was striving after with incessant industry 
there was no benediction. Congratulations were reserved for 
the evils which all men dreaded, — poverty, sorrow, persecu- 
tion, and the hatred of men, — or for qualities which men 
thought to be the signs of weakness. Could his disciples 
understand such paradoxes ? We know that they did not until 
after the descent upon them of the Holy Spirit, at a later day. 
Still less would the rude multitude comprehend such mysterious 
sayings, so profoundly true, but true in relation to conditions 
of soul of which they had no conception. The real man was 
invisible to their eyes. Only the outward life was known to 
them, the life of the bodj^, and of the mind only as the ready 
minister to bodily enjoyments ! 

" Blessed are the poor in spirit." 

Not poverty of thought, nor of courage, nor of emotion, - — 
not empty-mindedness, nor any idea implying a real lack of 
strength, variety, and richness of nature, — was here intended. 
It was to be a consciousness of moral incompleteness. As 
the sense of poverty in this world's goods inspires men to en- 
terprise, so the consciousness of a poverty of manliness might 
be expected to lead to earnest endeavors for moral growth. 
This first sentence was aimed full at that supreme self-com- 
placency which so generally resulted from the school of the 
Pharisee. Paul's interpretation of his own experience illus- 
trates the predominant spirit. He once had no higher idea of 
character than that inculcated in the Law of Moses, and he 
wrote of his attainments : " Touching the righteousness which 
is in the law, blameless." (Phil. iii. 6.) He was a perfect 
man ! 

The land was full of " perfect men." Groups of them were 
to be found in every synagogue. To be sure they were 
worldly, selfish, ambitious, vindictive, but without the con- 
sciousness of being the worse for all that. Rigorous exactitude 
in a visible routine gave them the right to thank God that 

[^ ^ ^ ^ 




they were not as other men were. For such men, m such 
moods, there could be no spiritual kingdom. They could 
never sympathize with that new life which was coming upon 
the world, in which the treasures were "love, joy, peace, long- 
suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance." 
(Gal. V. 22, 23.) But those who painfully felt the poverty of 
their inward nature in all these excellences might rise to the 
blessings of the new kingdom, " in which dwelleth righteous- 

In a world so full of trouble a thousand modes of consolation 
have been sought, a thousand ways of joy. But Jesus, still 
looking upon the invisible manhood, next points out the Divine 
road to happiness. 

"Blessed are they that mourn." 

For perfect beings sorrow is not needed ; but to creatures 
like men, seeking to escape the thrall and burden of animal 
life, sorrow is helpful. As frosts unlock the hard shells of seeds 
and help the germ to get free, so trouble develops in men 
the germs of force, patience, and ingenuity, and in noble na- 
tures "works the peaceable fruits of righteousness." A gen- 
tle schoolmaster it is to those who are " exercised thereby." 
Tears, like raindrops, have a thousand times Dillen to the 
ground and come up in flowers. All the good in this world 
which has risen above the line of material comfort has been 
born from some one's sorrow. We all march under a Cap- 
tain " who was made perfect through sufferings " ; and we 
are to fnid peace only as Ave learn of him in the school of 

Not less astonishing than the value put upon poverty of 
spirit and mourning must have seemed the next promise and 
prediction : — 

" Blessed are the meek, for they shall inuerit the earth." 

Each part of a man's mind has its peculiar and distinctive 
excitement. The passions and a^^petites give forth a turbulent 
and exhausting experience. The full activity of the domestic 
and social emotions produces excitement less harsh and violent, 
but yet tumultuous. The highest conditions of the soul's ac- 

^ -^ 



tivity are serene and tranquil. It is to this superior calm of 
a soul that is living in the continuous activity of its highest 
si:)iritual sentiments that the term meekness should be applied. 
It designates the whole temper of the soul in the range of its 
moral and spiritual faculties. The appetites and passions pro- 
duce a boisterous agitation too coarse and rude for real pleasure. 
The affections develop pleasure, but with too near an alliance 
to our lower nature for tranquillity. The spiritual portion of 
the soul is at once luminous and peaceful. The strength of 
man lies in those faculties which are farthest removed from his 
animal conditions. It is in the spiritual nature that manhood 
resides. The action of these higher sentiments is so different 
in result from the violent agitations of the appetites and pas- 
sions, that man may well speak of himself as a duality, a union 
of two distinct persons, not only of different, but of opposite 
and contradictory experiences. At the bottom of man's nature 
lie rude strength, coarse excitements, violent fluctuations, ex- 
hausting impulses. At the top of man's nature the soul puts 
forth continuous life almost without fatigue, is tranquil under 
intense activities, and is full of the light of moral intuitions. 
Meekness is generally thought to be a sweet benignity under 
provocation. But provocation only discloses, and does not cre- 
ate it. It exists as a generic mood or condition of soul, inde- 
pendent of those causes which may bring it to light. In this 
state, power and peace are harmonized, — activity and tranquil- 
lity, joy and calmness, all-seeingness without violence of desire. 
From these nobler fountains chiefly are to flow those influences 
which shall control the world. 

Man the animal has hitherto possessed the globe. Man the 
divine is yet to take it. The struggle is going on. But in 
every cycle more and more does the world feel the superior 
authority of truth, purity, justice, kindness, love, and faith. 
They shall yet possess the earth. In these three opening sen- 
tences how deep are the insights given ! The soul beholds 
its meagreness and poverty, it longs with unutterable desire to 
be enriched, it beholds the ideal state luminous with peace and 
full of power. 

But now the discourse rises from these interior states to 
more active elements. Amidst the conflicting; elements of life 


#- ^ ^ 


no man can gain any important moral victories by mere long- 
ing, or by rare impulses, or by feeble purposes. If one would 
reach the true manhood, the spiritual life, of the new kingdom, 
it must be by continuous energy during his entire career. In 
the whole routine of daily life, in the treatment of all cares, 
temptations, strifes, and experiences of every kind, the one pre- 
dominant purpose must be the perfection of manhood in our- 

"Blessed are they who do hunger akd thirst after 
righteousness, for they shall be filled." 

The life of the body, its strength and skill, are every day 
built up by the food which hunger craves. And as hunger is 
not a rational faculty, and does not depend upon any of the 
rational faculties for its action, but follows the internal condition 
of the body, and is an automatic sign and signal of the waste 
or repair going on within ; so the longing for uprightness and 
goodness must be a deep-seated and incessant importunity of 
the soul's very substance, as it were, acting, not upon sugges- 
tion or special excitement, but self-aroused and continuous. 
To such a desire the whole w^orld becomes a ministerino; ser- 
vant. All this is strangely in contrast with the life of man. 
The fierce conflict, the exacting enterprise, are felt, but they 
expend themselves upon externals. They seek to build up the 
estate, to augment the power, to multiply physical pleasures. 
In the new life the strife and enterprise are to be none the 
less, but will be directed toward inward qualities. 

These four Beatitudes not only revealed the Divine concep- 
tion of the new spiritual life, but thej^ stood in striking contrast 
with the ideas held by the leaders of the Jews. The Piiarisees 
were also expecting a kingdom, and great advantage and de- 
light. They had no idea of the joy there is in spiritual sor- 
row. They knew nothing of the sweet tranquillity of meek- 
ness, and to them nothing seemed so little likely to inherit the 
earth. Energetic power, invincible zeal, and a courage that 
did not fear disaster or death,- — these would win, if anything 
could. The Beatitudes, thus far, must have been profoundly 
unintelligible to Christ's hearers. What wonder? They are 
even yet unintelligible to mankind. 

^ ^ 



^' Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy." 

To an undeveloped race, struggling ignorantly forward rather 
tli;in upward, jostling, contending, quarrelling, — each man self- 
ish, but demanding that others should be kind, — each one 
unjust, but clamoring against others for their injustice, — each 
one exacting, severe, or cruel, but requiring that others should 
be lenient, — comes the word. Blessed are the merciful. No one 
thing: does human life more need than a kind consideration of 
men's flxults. Every one sins. Every one needs forbearance. 
Their own imperfections should teach men to be merciful. God 
is merciful because he is perfect. Mercy is an attribute of high 
moral character. As men grow toward the Divine, they be- 
'come gentle, forgiving, compassionate. The absence of a mer- 
ciful spirit is evidence of the want of true holiness. A soul 
that has really entered into the life of Christ carries in itself a 
store of nourishment and a cordial for helpless souls around 
it. Whoever makes his own rigorous life, or his formal pro- 
priety, or his exacting conscience, an argument for a condem- 
natory spirit toward others, is not of the household of faith. 
Merciless observers of men's faults, who delight in finding out 
the evil that is in their neighbors, who rejoice in exposing the 
sins of evil-doers, or who find a pleasure in commenting upon, 
or ridiculini>: the mistakes of others, show themselves to be 
ignorant of the first element of the Christian religion. 

" Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." 

Precisely what is meant by " purity " has called forth much 
speculation. But it should be remembered that the whole dis- 
course contains either a latent or an avowed criticism upon 
the prevailing notions of the Jcavs as to true religion. On no 
point were the Pharisees more scrupulous than that of Leviti- 
cal purity. This had no direct relation in their minds to the 
inward dispositions and purposes. Impurity was contracted by 
some bodily act, and was removed by some corresponding ex- 
ternal ceremony. There were some seventy specific cases of 
uncleanness described by Jewish writers, and others were pos- 
sible. A conscientious man found his action limited on every 
hand by fear of impurity, or by the rites of purification which 


— = -^ 


were required in case of defilement. A ceremony designed 
to inspire a moral idea by a physical act suffered the almost 
inevitable fate of symbols, and ended by withdrawing the mnid 
from moral states and fixing it superstitiously upon external 
deeds. The benediction of Jesus was upon purity of heart, as 
distincndshed from legal and ceremonial purity. A state of 
heart ""in which all its parts and faculties should be morally as 
free from the contamination of passion, selfishness, injustice, and 
insincerity as the body and its members might be from Levit- 
ical defilement, was, without doubt, the state upon which the 
blessing was meant to rest. But the promise here given, "they 
shall s'ee God," assumes a wider view and a more profound 
philosophy. There can be no knowledge of God in any degree 
moral and spiritual, which does not come to man through some 
form of moral intuition. To understand justice, one must have 
some experience of justice. There could arise no idea of love 
in a soul that had never loved, or of pity in one who had 
never experienced compassion. Our knowledge of the moral 
attributes of God must take its rise in some likeness, or germ 
of resemblance, in us to that which we conceive is the Divme 
nature. In proportion as we become like him, the elements 
of understanding increase. The soul becomes an interpreter 
through its own experiences. They only can understand God 
who have in themselves some moral resemblance to him; and 
they will enter most largely into knowledge who are most in 
sympathy with the Divine life. 

" Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called 
the children of god." 

Peace is not a negative state, a mere interval between two 
excitements. In its highest meanuig it is that serenity which 
joy assumes, not only when single faculties are excited, but 
when the whole soul is in harmony with itself and full of 
wholesome activity. An original disposition which dwells m 
peace by the fulness and the inspiration of all its parts is a 
rare gift. One whose nature unconsciously diff'uses peace is very 
near^o God. Jesus himself never seemed so divine as when, 
on the eve of his arrest, with the cloud already casting its 
shadow upon him, and every hour bringing him consciously 

^ — — e; 



nearer to the great agony, he said to his humble followers : 
" Peace I leave with you. My peace I give unto you." There 
is no other sign of Divinity more eminent than that of a na- 
ture which can breathe upon men an atmosphere of peace. 
They who can do this, even imperfectly, have the lineaments 
of their Parent upon them. They are the children of God. 

Far out from the centre of creative power, among the ele- 
ments of nature, there is wild turbulence, and immense ener- 
gies grapple in conflict. As the universe rises, circle above 
circle, each successive sphere loses something of strife and de- 
velops some tendency to harmony. All perfection tends toward 
peace. In that innermost circle, where the God dwells in very 
person, peace eternally reigns. The energy. which creates, the 
universal will which governs, and the inconceivable intellect 
that watches and thinks of all the realm, have their highest 
expression in a perfect peace. Thus, though the lower stages 
of being are full of agitations, the higher stages are tranquil. 
The universe grows sweet as it grows ripe. "The God of 
peace " is the highest expression of perfect being. Whatever 
disturbance is raging in his remote creation. He dwells in eter- 
nal peace, waiting for the consummation of all things. There 
is, then, evident reason why peacemakers " shall be called the 
children of God." 

In a lower way, but yet in close sympathy with this supreme 
disposition of a soul in harmony with God, are to be included 
all voluntary efforts for the suppression of riotous mischief and 
for the promotion of kindness, agreement, concord, and peace 
among men and between nations. While malign dispositions 
stir up strife, a benevolent nature seeks to allay irritation, to 
quiet the fierceness of temper, and to subdue all harsh and 
cruel souls to the law of kindness. A pacificator will make 
himself the benefactor of any neighborhood. 

It is true that peace is sometimes so hindered by means of 
corrupt passions or selfish interests that there must be a strug- 
gle before peace can exist. " I came not to send peace, but a 
sword," was our Lord's annunciation of this fact. A conflict 
between the spirit and the flesh takes place in every individual 
and in every community that is growing better. It is, how- 
ever, but transient and auxiliary. Out of it comes a higher 



life. With that come harmony and peace. One may sacrifice 
peace by neglecting to struggle, and one may seek peace by 
instituting conflicts. Love must overcome selfishness, even if 
the demon in departing casts down its victim upon the ground 
and leaves him as one dead. 

"Blessed are they wnicii are persecuted for righteous- 

All the elements of human society were originally organized 
by the force of reason acting in its lowest plane, — selfishly. 
Little by little the animal gave way to the social, the material 
to the spiritual, and room began to be found in the secular for 
the eternal. It has been a long conflict. It is a conflict still, 
and will continue to be for ages. A just man at every step 
finds some one whose interests turn upon injustice. One can- 
not make the truth clear and stimulating without disturbing- 
some drowsy error, which flies out of its cave and would extin- 
guish the light. Not only have pride and vanity their unlaw- 
ful sway, but every passion has in human life some vested 
interest which truth and love will either altogether destroy, 
or greatly restrain and regulate. 

Now, although the truth when presented in its own symme- 
try is beautiful, and although men, unless greatly perverted, 
recognize the beauty of righteousness, yet their selfish interests 
in the processes of life, the profit or j)leasure which they de- 
rive from unrighteousness, sweep away their feeble admiration, 
and in its place come anger and opposition. All potential 
goodness is a disturbing force. Benevolent men are the friends 
of even the selfish, but selfish men feel that benevolence is 
the enemy of selfishness. The silent example of a good man 
judges and condemns the conduct of bad men. Even passive 
goodness stands in the way of active selfishness. But when, as 
was to be the case in the new spiritual kingdom heralded by 
Christ, good men acting in sympathy should seek to spread 
the sway of moral principles, the time would speedily arrive 
when their spirit would come in conflict with the whole king- 
dom of darkness. Then would arise the bitterest opposition. 
Since the world began, it has not been permitted to any one to 
rise within himself from a lower to a higher moral state, with- 



out an angry conflict on the part of his inferior faculties. No 
part of human society has been allowed to develop into a higher 
form without bitter persecutions. If this had been so up to 
that era, when the stages were tentative and preparatory, how 
much more was it to be so now, when the fulness of time had 
come, and the followers of Christ were to found a kingdom in 
which the moral and spiritual elements were to predominate 
over every other ! 

But persecution which is caused by true goodness drives men 
more entirely from the resources of the animal and secular 
life, and develops in them to greater strength and intensity 
their truly spiritual or divine part ; and in that state their joys 
increase in elevation, in conscious purity, in peacefulness. They 
live in another realm. They are not dependent for their en- 
joyment upon outward circumstances, nor upon the remuner- 
ations of social life. They are lifted into the very vicinage of 
heaven. They hold communion with God. A new realm, in- 
visible but potential, springs up around them. Dispossessed of 
common pleasures, they find themselves filled with other joys, 
unspeakable and full of glory. " Theirs is the kingdom of 

Here the Beatitudes end. They raise in the mind an exalted 
conception of the spiritual manhood. In the new kingdom 
manhood was to be clothed with new power. It had broken 
up through to the realm above, and was clothed with Divine 
elements. In this state, the grand instrument of success in the 
subjugation of the Avorld was to be the simple force of this 
new human nature, acting directly upon living men. Until that 
time religion had, in the weakness of the race, needed to em- 
ploy rules, laws, and institutions, and to maintain its authority 
by force borrowed from the physical nature of man. But the 
new kingdom was to rely sovereignly upon a new force, — the 
living soul acting upon living souls. Therefore Jesus, having 
revealed by these few profound elements what was the true 
spiritual strength of man, declares to his disciples their mission. 
They were to be the preservative element of life. They were 
to become sons of God, not alone for their own sake, but as 
spiritual forces in subduing the world to goodness. While 
Pharisees were intensely concerned to maintain their own sup- 

\^ ^ ^ .^ 



posed blameless state, and Essenes were withdrawing from hu- 
man life more and more, and various religionists were playing 
hermit, shunning a world which they could not resist or over- 
come, the disciples of the new kingdom of the spirit, inspired 
by a Divine influence, and living in an atmosphere uncontam- 
inated by the lower passions, were to go boldly forth into life, 
taking hold of human affairs, seeking to purify the household, 
to reclaim the selfishness and the sordidness of material life, 
to infuse a spirit of justice and of goodness into laws and 
magistrates, and to make the power of their new life felt in 
every fibre of human society. " Ye are the salt of the earth ! " 
" Ye are the light of the world ! " 

The opening portion of the Sermon on the Mount must not 
have the canons of modern philosophy applied to it. Its or- 
ganic relations with the rest of the discourse must not be 
pressed too far. It depicts the moral qualities which are to 
give character to the new life, but does not include all the 
elements of it, nor even the most important ones. Hope, faith, 
and love are not mentioned. It is plain, therefore, that the 
principle of selection was largely an external one. Jesus was 
about to criticise the national religion. He fixed his eye upon 
the living officers and exemplars of that religion, and empha- 
sized with his benediction those qualities which most needed 
to be made prominent, and which were signally lacking in the 
spirit of the Pharisee. 

Just as little should we attempt to exhibit in the Beati- 
tudes a natural progression, or philosophic order of qualities. 
There is no reason why the second Beatitude should not stand 
first, nor why the fifth, sixth, and seventh might not be inter- 
changed. The fourth might without impropriety have begun 
the series. The order in which they stand does not repre- 
sent the order of the actual evolution of moral qualities. On 
the contrary, we perceive that the S23irit of God develops the 
new life in the human soul in no fixed order. Men who have 
gone far in overt wickedness may find their first moral im- 
pulse to spring from a condemning conscience ; but others are 
more affected by the sweetness and beauty of moral qualities 
as seen in some goodly life. Sometimes hope, sometimes sym- 



patliy, sometimes fear, and sometimes even th« imitativeness 
that becomes contagious in social life, is the initiatory motive. 
For the human soul is like a city of many gates ; and a con- 
queror does not always enter by the same gate, but by that 
one which chances to lie open. It is true that a general sense 
of sinfulness precedes all effort after a higher life. But a clear 
discrimination of evil, and an exquisite sensibility to it, such 
as are implied in the first two Beatitudes, do not belong to an 
untrained conscience first aroused to duty, but are the fruits of 
later stages of Christian experience. 

The Beatitudes constitute a beautiful sketch of the ideal 
state, when the glowing passions, which in the day of Christ 
controlled even the religious leaders, and still so largely rule 
the world, shall be supplanted by the highest moral sentiments. 
The ostentatious wealth and arrogant pride of this sensuous 
life shall be replaced in the new life by a profound humility. 
The conceit and base content of a sordid prosperity shall give 
way to ingenuous spiritual aspiration. Men shall long for 
goodness more than the hungry do for food. They shall no 
longer live by the force of their animal life, but by the se- 
rene sweetness of the moral sentiments. Meekness shall be 
stronger than force. The spirit of peacemaking shall take the 
place of irritation and quarrelsomeness. But as we can come 
to the mildness and serenity of spring only through the blus- 
tering winds and boisterous days of March, so this new king- 
dom must enter through a period of resistance and of perse- 
cution ; and all who, taking part in its early establishment, 
have to accept persecution, must learn to find joy in it as the 
witness that they are exalted to a superior realm of experi- 
ence, to the companionship of the noblest heroes of the pro- 
phetic age, and to fellowship with God. 




THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT. — (Continoed.) 

AFTER pronouncing the Beatitudes, and before entering, up- 
on his criticism of the current rehgious ideas, Jesus put his 
disciples on their guard lest they should suppose that he meant 
to overturn the religion of their fathers. Think not that I am 
come to dcdmj the Law or the Prophets. If men's moral beliefs 
were the result of a purely logical process, their religious faith 
might be changed upon mere argument, and with as little det- 
riment to their moral constitution as an astronomer experiences 
when, upon the recalculation of a problem, he corrects an error. 
But men's moral convictions spring largely from their feelings. 
The intellect but gives expression to the heart. The creed 
and worship, however they may begin in philosophy, are soon 
covered all over with the associations of the household; they 
are perfumed with domestic love ; they convey with them the 
hopes and the fears of life, the childhood fancies, and the im- 
aginations of manhood. To change a man's religious system is 
to reconstruct the whole man himself. Such change is full of 
peril. Only the strongest moral natures can survive the shock 
of doubt which dispossesses them of all that they have trusted 
from childhood. There are few strong moral natures. The 
mass of men are creatures of dependent habits and of unreason- 
ing faith. Once cut loose from what they have always deemed 
sacred, they find it impossible to renew their reverence for 



new things, and sink either into moral indifference or into care- 
less scepticism. Men must, if possible, see in the new a pres- 
ervation of all that ^vas valuable in the old, made still more 
fruitful and beautiful. It is the old in the new that preserves 
it from doing harm to untaught natures. 

The recognition of this truth is nowhere more remarkable 
than in the progress of Christianity under the ministration of 
Jesus and of his Apostles. Although surrounded by a people 
whose hatred of foreign religions was inordinate and fanatical, 
the Jews did not hear from the lips of Jesus even an allusion 
to heathenism. If the narratives of the Gospel are fair speci- 
mens of his manner, there was not a word that fell from him 
which could have wounded an honest heathen ; ^ and, after- 
wards, his Apostles sought to find some ground of common 
moral consciousness from which to reason with the idolatrous 
people among whom they came. We are not to suppose that 
Jesus made an abrupt transition from the religious institutions 
of Moses to his own spiritual system. He said no word to 
unsettle the minds of his countrymen in the faith of their 
fathers. He w^as careful of the religious prejudices of his times. 
The very blows directed against the glosses and perversions of 
the Pharisees derived their force from the love which Jesus 
showed for the Law and the Prophets. He pierced through the 
outward forms to the central principle of Mosaism, and made 
his new dispensation to be an evolution of the old. 

ThinJc not that I am come to destroy the Laiv or the Prophets : 
I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 

Here is the law of development announced by an inspired 
Hebrew to a peasant and mechanic crowd in obscure Galilee, 
ages before the philosophy of evolution was susjDCcted or the 
laws of progress were found out. Jesus did not come to destroy 
old faiths, but to carry them forward by growth to the higher 
forms and the better fruit that were contained within them. 

This tenderness for all the good that there was in the past 
of the Jewish nation is in striking contrast with the bitter 
sjDirit of hatred against the Jews which afterwards grew up in 
the Christian Church. No man can be in sympathy with Jesus 

^ The word " heathen," Matt. vi. 7, and xviii. 1 7, is used rather as a designation 
than as a criticism. 



who has no affection for the Jew and no reverence for the 
oracles of the old Hebrew dispensation. 

It was peculiarly appropriate, at the beginning of a discourse 
designed to search the received interpretations of the Law with 
the most severe criticism, that Jesus should caution his disciples 
against a tendency, often developed in times of transition, to 
give up and abandon all the convictions and traditions of the 
past. Jesus therefore amplified the thought. The central truths 
of Hebraism were fundamental and oro-anic. The ceremonies 
and institutions which surrounded them might change, but the 
enshrined principles were permanent. Heaven and earth should 
pass away before one jot or tittle of them should perish. No 
man must seek notoriety by a crusade against his father's re- 
ligion. He who should break one of the least commandments, 
or should inspire others to do so, should be least in the king- 
dom of heaven. The temper of the new life was not to be 
destructive, but constructive. Even that part of the old re- 
ligion which was to pass away must not be destroyed by attack, 
but be left to dry up and fall by the natural development of 
the higher elements of spiritual life contained within it. And 
that should not be till the old was " fulfilled " in the new : the 
blossom should be displaced only by the fruit. 

Jesus was now prepared to pass under review the ethical 
mistakes which his countrymen had made in interpreting the 
Law of Moses. He began by declaring that the reigning relig- 
ious spirit was totally insufficient. No one under its inspiration 
could rise into that higher life which was opening upon the 

Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the Scribes 
and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. 

This may be called the theme of the whole sermon following. 
From this text Jesus now developed his view of the ethics of 
the neiv life. He furnished the ideals towards which men must 
strive, setting forth the morality of the teleologic state of 
mankind. For this purpose he selected a series of cases in 
which the great laws of purity and of love were the most vio- 
lated in the practical life of his times, and applied to them 
the ethics of the final and perfect state of manhood. This 
he did, not as a legislator, nor as a priest. He was not attempt- 

\^ ^ 



ing to regulate civil society, nor the cliurch, by minute regu- 
lations, but by insjDiring the soul with those nobler emotions 
from which just rules spring, and which themselves need no 
laws. He spoke from conscious divinity in himself to the moral 
consciousness in man. He was not framing principles into hu- 
man laws or institutions. He held up ideals of disposition for 
the attainment of which all men were to strive. They are not 
the less true because men in the lower stages of development 
are unable to attain to their level. They are the true basis of 
all social and civil procedure, even though nations are not yet 
civilized enough to practise them. 

There are nine topics successively treated, all of them re- 
lating to the state of man's heart, namely: 1. Murder; 2. Adul- 
tery ; 3. Divorce ; 4. Oaths ; 5. Retaliation ; G. Disinterested 
Benevolence ; 7. Almsgiving ; 8. Prayer ; 9. Fasting. Follow- 
ing the enunciation of principles in regard to these topics are a 
series of cases relating to the outward life, or economico-ethical 
instructions. The spiritual ethics which Jesus laid down Avith 
the quiet authority of conscious divinity not only antagonized 
with the private passions of men and the customs of society, 
but directly contested the popular interpretation of the Law of 

1. 3Iiirdcr. — Christ teaches that the true life is that of the 
thoughts and emotions; that the highest authority and gov- 
ernment is that which is within the soul, and not alone that 
which breaks out into active civil law and takes coii-nizance 
of ads. Spiritual law takes hold of the sources of all acts. 
Now the Pharisee sought to restrain evil by a microscopic con- 
sideration of externals. Jesus went back to the fountain, and 
would purify all the issues by cleansing it. 

Ye have heard that it ivas said hij them of otd time, Thou shatt not 
hill; and ivhosocver shall hill shall he in danger of the judgment : hut 
I sag \into gou, That 2vhosoever is angrg tvith his brother ivithout a 
cause shall he in danger of the judgment : and luhosoever shall sag to 
his brother, Ilaca, shall he in danger of the council: hut ivhosoevcr shall 
sag, Thou fool, shall he in danger of hell fire. 

What is murder? The law of the land answered in its way. 
Jesus replied, The voluntary indulgence of any feeling that 
would naturally lead to the act, — that is murder. The crime 

^ ^ ^ ^ 

[fl— ^ ^-a 


is first coTnmitted in the shadowy reahn of thought and feeling. 
Many a murder is unperformed outwardly, while all that con- 
stitutes its guilt is enacted in the heart. A legalist would 
regard himself as innocent if only he did not act as he felt. 
But in the kingdom of the Spirit feelings are acts. A mur- 
derous temper is murder. John says, "Whosoever hateth his 
brother is a murderer." 

This does not forbid all anger. There may be a just indig- 
nation which carries in it no malice, which springs from af- 
fronted benevolence. This is implied in the phrase, " Whoso is 
angry with his brother witlioid a cause,'' i. e. a just cause, a cause 
springhig from high moral considerations, as where indigna- 
tion is aroused at the sight of one who is committing a great 

Not alone anger which leads to violence, but even that de- 
gree of anger which leads one to abuse another by the use of 
opprobrious epithets, is forbidden. Yet more severely con- 
demned is such a transport of anger as leads one, under the 
influence of merciless passions, as it were, to tread out all sense 
of another's manhood and to annihilate him. 

Not only are we to carry kind thoughts ourselves, but we 
are bound, by every means within our power, to prevent un- 
kind thoudits in others. If we know that another " hath 
auo-ht ao-ainst us," the removal of that unkind feeling is more 
important before God than any act of worship. Leave the 
altar, remove the unkindness, then return to thy prayers. First 
humanity, then devotion. 

2. Adult erf/. — The same general principle is applied to the 
passion of lust. 

But I say unto you, That whosoever looJceth on a seaman to lust after 
her hath committed adultery tvith her already in his heart. 

Not only is he guilty who suffers desire to run its full length 
and consummate itself in action, but he also who nourishes the 
desire which he cannot or dare not consummate. And though 
the temptation require the uttermost strength of resistance, it 
must be vanquished. As a soldier fights though wounded, and 
is triumphantly received though his victory has lost him an arm 
or an eye, so at every sacrifice and with all perseverance must 
the true man maintain chastity in his feelings, in his thoughts, 

-. ^ 


and in liis imagination. If thy right ejjc offend thee, loliick it out. 
If thy right hand offend thee, cut it off. 

3. Divorce. — In the kingdom of the Spirit the new man shall 
no longer be suffered to consult his own mere pleasure in the 
disposal of his Avife. In the Orient and among the Jews polyg- 
amy was permitted; the husband might take as many wives 
as he could support, and he was at liberty to dismiss any one 
of them upon the most trivial cause. Woman was helpless, a 
slave of man's convenience, without redress when Avronged. She 
could demand a legal document of her husband if he put her 
away, and that probably was equivalent to a general certificate 
of respectable character, such as employers give to servants 
when for any reason they wish no longer to retain them. 

Under Oriental laws, to this day, women are little better than 
slaves. The husband has despotic power over them. Among 
the Hebrews, the condition of woman was far better, and her 
privileges were greater, than in other Eastern nations ; yet the 
husband could dispossess her of her marriage rights almost at 
his own will. He had inicontrolled jurisdiction. There was 
no necessity for obtaining permission from a civil or religious 
tribunal to put away his wife. It was a household affair, with 
which the public had nothing to do. Her stay in the house 
was purely a matter of her lord's will. He could send her 
forth for the most trivial fault, or from the merest caprice. 
The doctrine of Jesus sheared off at one stroke all these un- 
natural privileges from the husband, and made the wife's position 
firm and permanent, unless she forfeited it by crime. By lim- 
iting the grounds of sepai'ation to the single crime of adultery, 
Jesus revolutionized the Oriental household, and lifted woman 
far up on the scale of natural rights. Considered in its histor- 
ical relations, this action of our Lord was primarily a restriction 
upon the stronger and directly in the interest of the weaker 

This theme and our Lord's teaching upon it will be resumed 
where we come to treat of a later period in his ministry, when 
he more fully disclosed his doctrine upon the subject. But it 
is clear that our Lord belonged to neither of the two schools 
which existed among the Jews, — the lax school of Hillel, or 

the rigid school of Shammai. He rose higher than either. He 


cQ-^ ^ 


made the outward relation permanent, on account of the true 
spiritual nature of marriage, it being the fusion or real unity 
of two hearts. Having once been outwardly united, they must 
abide together, and even when they found themselves in con- 
flict must learn to be one in spirit by the discipline of living 
together. If they enter the wedded state unprepared, the 
household is the school in which they are to learn the neglected 

4. Oaths. — If men loved the truth always, there would be 
no need of an oath ; but so prone are they to deceit, that 
in cases of public interest they must be incited to speak truly 
by a lively fear acting upon an aroused conscience. By an oath 
men swear to God, and not to man, of the truth of facts. A 
day shall come when men will speak the truth in the love of 
truth. Then all judicial oaths will be needless. The perfect 
state will have no need of them, and they will be done away. 

The casuists among the Jews had corrupted the oath. Men 
were not bound by it, unless it was an oath directly to God. 
They might win confidence by giving to their solemn affirma- 
tions the appearance of an oath. They might swear by heaven, 
by the earth, by Jerusalem, by one's head ; but it was held that 
from these oaths they might draw back without dishonor. Jesus 
exposed the deception and impiety of such oaths. He laid 
down for all time the canon, that the true man shall declare 
facts with the utmost simplicity. It must be yea, yea, or nay, 
nay ; nothing more. This certainly forbids the use of all trivial 
oaths, and reduces judicial oaths to the position of exjDcdients, 
tolerated only on account of the weakness of men, and to be 
abolished in the era of true manhood. Oaths will be dispensed 
with just as soon as men can be believed without an oath. 

5. RdaUatiou. — Jesus passed next to a consideration of the 
law of retaliation. The lower down upon the moral scale men 
live, the more nearly must they be governed wholly by fear 
and force. Under the laws of nature, disobedience brings pain. 
Men learn the same government, and inflict pain ujdou those 
who offend. Civil government methodizes this economy of pain. 
It is, however, the method peculiar to undeveloped manhood. 
Force is the lowest, pain is the next, and fear the next; but 
all of them are methods of dealing with creatures not yet 


brought up to their true selves. They are therefore expedients 
of education, and, like all instruments of training, they cease 
as soon as they have carried their subjects to a higher plane. In 
the coming kingdom of love, the full man in Christ Jesus will 
no longer repay evil with evil, pain with pain. Evil-doing will 
be corrected by the sj^irit of goodness, and love will take the 
place of force and pain and fear. 

Even if it be yet impossible to develop among men this 
future and ideal government, it can be held up as the aim 
toward which progress should be directed. This Jesus did. / 
swj xmio you, That ye resist not evil ; hut uliosoever shall smite thee on 
thy right cheek, twm to him the other also. Nay, more; he who 
acts in the full spirit of love, so far from revenging an injustice, 
will yield more than is demanded. It was a time of injustice 
and of tyrannical exactions ; but the command of Jesus was, If 
the law, wickedly admmistered, should take 3'our property, 
rather than quarrel give more than is asked; if impressed in 
your property and person into the public service, exceed the 
task laid upon you ; if solicited, lend and give freely. As so- 
ciety is constituted, and in the low and animal condition of 
mankind, it may be that these commands could not be fulfilled 
literally; but they furnish an ideal toward which every one 
must strive. 

6. Disinterested Benevolence. — Having developed the genius of 
the new kingdom of love negatively, it was natural that Jesus 
should next disclose the positive forms of love and its duties. 
He laid down the fundamental principle that love must spring 
forth, not from the admirableness of any object of regard, but 
from the richness of one's own nature in true benevolence. Like 
the sun, love sends forth from itself that color which makes 
beautiful whatever it shines upon ; therefore love your enemies, 
bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and 
pray for them that despitefully use you. The new men of 
the future must not derive their notions of perfection from be- 
neath them, — in that direction lies the animal, — but from 
above. Seek for that kind of perfection which God desires, — 
the perfection of a disinterested love. The sun and the sea- 
sons interpret that. They pour life and bounty over the whole 
race, whether deserving or not. In spite of the jDains and 


^ -g^ 

Tim SER3I0N ON THE 310 UN T. 257 

penalties of which nature is full, over all the earth are the 
symbols that God's greater government is one of goodness. 
He must be a bad man who does not love that which is lovely. 
Even selfishness can honor and serve that which will redound 
to its benefit. The worst men in society will please those 
Avho will return like service. 

This, too, like the teaching upon the other topics, is to be 
accepted as the ideal of the new kingdom. It can be but im- 
perfectly carried out as yet. But it is that spirit which every 
man is to recognize as the standard, and to carry out "as 
much as in him lies." 

7. Ahmgiving. — Jesus now cautions ^his disciples against do- 
ing right things from wrong motives. They must give alms, 
not for the sake of reputation, not for their own interests, but 
out of a simple benevolence. The love of praise may go with 
benevolence, but must not take the place of it. It is hypocrisy 
to act from selfish motives, while obtaining credit for disinter- 
ested ones. This passing off of our baser feelings for our 
noblest is a species of moral counterfeiting as prevalent now 
as in the times of our Lord. 

8. Prayer. — Men should pray from a sincere feeling of devo- 
tion, and not from vanity or mere custom. And, as both Jewish 
and heathen prayers had become filled with superstitious and 
cumbersome repetitions, Jesus enjoins simplicity and privacy, 
rather as the cure of ostentation than as absolute excellences. 
God does not need instruction in our wants. He knows better 
than we what we need. Neither does he need persuasion. He 
is more ready to give good gifts than parents are to bestow 
good things on their children. 

It is probable that the sermon of Christ on the Mount was 
delivered in the most familiar and interlocutory manner. It 
seems to have been reported in outline, rather than in full, and 
between one portion and another there would doubtless be 
questions asked and answered. In this way we can interpret 
the succession of topics which have no internal relation to each 
other, but which might be drawn out of the speaker by some 
interposed question or explanation. Luke gives us a clew to 
one such scene. 

" And it came to pass, that, as he was j^raying in a certain 

■ ^ 



l^lace, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, 
teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples." (xi. 1.) 

Many of John's disciples, after the imprisonment of their mas- 
ter, attached themselves to Jesus. The transition was natural 
and easy. Jesus must have seemed to them like a second John, 
greater in miracles, but far less in sanctity. John was wholly 
a reformer. He did not take upon him the duties and burdens 
of common citizenship, but stood apart as a judge and censor 
of morals. He had that severe mood of sanctity which always 
imjDresses the imagination of the ignorant and the superstitious. 
Jesus was a citizen. He knew the fatigues of labor, the trials 
which beset poverty, the temptations arising from the practi- 
cal conduct of business. He lived among men in all the inno- 
cent exj^eriences of society life, a cheerful, companionable, and 
most winning nature. There was no gayety in his demeanor, 
but much cheerfulness. He did not assume the professional 
sanctity that was much in esteem. He was familiar, natural, 
unpretentious, loving that which was homely and natural in 
men, rather than that which was artificial and pretentious. 

But John's disciples must have felt the difference in the 
teaching of the two masters. Especially must they have ob- 
served the devotional spirit of Jesus. And on the occasion 
mentioned, when he had spent in prayer the night preceding 
the Sermon on the Mount, some of them asked Jesus to teach 
them how to pray, " as John also taught his disciples." 

Prayer was no new thing to the Jews. Synagogues abounded, 
and their liturgical service was rich in prayers, which in gen- 
eral w^ere scriptural and eminently devotional. But their very 
number was burdensome, and their repetition confusing. Litur- 
gies furnish prayers for men in groups and societies. This meets 
but one side of human want. Man needs to draw himself out 
from among his fellows, and to pray alone and individually. 
New wine disdains old bottles. Intense feeling will not accept 
old formulas, but bursts out into prayer of its own shaping. 
Yet it was hardly this last want that led the disciples to ask 
Jesus to teach them how to pray. It was more probably a 
request that he would, out of the multitude of prayers already 
prepared, either select for them or frame some ^^rayer that 
should be in sympathy with the spiritual instruction which he 


-B- — -a 


was giving them. Now, in the Sermon on the Moimt, as given 
by Matthew, Jesus had just been reprehending the practice of 
repetition in prayer, so striking in the devotions of the heathen, 
who frequently for a half-hour together vociferate a single sen- 
tence, or word even. The disciples of John very naturally 
asked him to give them such a prayer as he would approve. 
Jesus gave them what has become kno^vn as '' the Lord's 
Prayer." It may be used . liturgically, or it may serve as a 
model for private prayer, as shall seem most profitable. 

One knows not which most to admire in this form, — its lofti- 
ness of spirit, its comprehensiveness, its brevity, its simplicity, 
or its union of human and divine elements. Our admiration of 
it is not disturbed by that criticism which questions its origi- 
nality and finds it to be made up, in part, of prayers already 
existing. Is the diamond less princely among stones because its 
constituent elements can be shown in other combinations ? The 
brilliant contrast between the inorganic elements and their crys- 
talline form is a sufficient answer. All prayer may be said to 
have crystallized in this prayer. The Church has worn it for 
hundreds of years upon her bosom, as the brightest gem of 

The opening phrase. Our Father, is the key to Christianity. 
God is father; government is personal. All the tenderness 
which now is stored up in the word " mother " was of old 
included in the name "father." The household was governed 
by law, and yet it was small enough to enable the father to 
make himself the exponent of love and law. 

In the household, strength and weakness are bound together 
by the mysterious tie of love. The superior serves the infe- 
rior, and yet subordination is not lost. Children learn obedi- 
ence through their affections, and fear supplements higher 
motives. In this the family differs from all civil institutions. 
The father is in contact with his children, and governs them by 
personal influence. The magistrate cannot know or be known 
to the bulk of his subjects. Love in the household is a living 
influence, in the state it is an abstraction. In a family where 
love and law are commensurate, the father's Avill is the most 
perfect government. 

Civil government is an extension of the family only ixi name. 




Kings are not fathers, and national governments cannot bo 
paternal because they cannot be personal. It is a question of 
the utmost importance, then, whether we shall form our idea 
of the Divine moral government from the family or from the 
state ; whether we shall conceive of God as Father or as King, 
and his government -as one of abstract laws or of personal influ- 
ences. " Our Father " is itself a whole theology. "We are 
prone to transfer to the moral administration of God those 
peculiarities of civil government which really spring from men's 
limitation and weakness, and are therefore the worst possible 
analogies or symbols of Divine things. The impersonality of 
magistrates and the abstractions of laAv are necessary in human 
government, because men are too weak to reach a higher model. 
The Divine government, administered by means of universal 
laws, still leaves the Supreme Father free to exercise his per- 
sonal feelings. If God be only a magistrate, the charm is gone. 
He governs no longer by the influence of his heart, but by a 
law, which, as projected from himself, is conceived of by men 
as a thing separate from Divine will, though at first springing 
from it. At once justice becomes something inflexible, severe, 
relentless. A king is weak in moral power in proportion as 
he relies upon the law of force. His hand for matter, his heart 
for men. 

A father on earth, though dear and venerated, is yet human 
and imperfect; but a "Father in heaven" exalts the imagina- 
tion. The Celestial Father discharges all those duties and offices 
of love and authority which the earthly parent but hints at 
and imperfectly fulfils. It is the ideal of perfection in father- 
hood. It enhances our conception of the ideal home, in " the 
house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." As chil- 
dren in an earthly family come to a parent, so with all the 
privileges of children our spirits ascend to the spiritual Father 
in heaven. 

AVith a child's love and admiration mingles not only a sense 
of the superiority of its parent, but an affectionate desire for his 
honor and dignity. Hallowed he thj name is the expression of the 
desire that God may be held in univeirsal reverence. Experi- 
encing the blessedness of veneration, the soul would clothe the 
object of its adoration Avith the love and admiration which it 



deserves It is not ^ supplication for one's self but an aifec- 
?o ate and holy desire L the welfare of another. There i 
: no servile ilulation, no abject awe It sprmgs from the 
I lest spiritual affection, and is rational and ennobhng 
1^ the ext petition the soul yearns for that perfect state 
tow rd wh ch n'en have always been looking forward. How- 
ever mp feet the conceptions may be, n.en have always con- 
ived of the present a« a single step in one ong advan c 
wlrd an ideally perfect state. Somewhere .n ^e fuUn. ^ 
soirit of man is to be elevated, purified, perfected, ihe dis 
^ , nnd misrule and wretchedness of the present are not to 
:l:f ^Wa^ off, advancing surely J-.J;^-!^, ^^^ 
die i<-es comes that kingdom "m which dwelleth ughteous 
1 ss"° Every good man°longs for it, and his thoughts fre- 
quently take shelter in it. Tk, ku„<Ja.n co,ne is the petition 
of everv one who loves God and his fellow-man. 

Til next is like unto it : TI,j .m U done in eaM,as , ^s,n k^cn^ 
All natural laws are the emanations of the Divine will Those 
funl:::!rtal principles of right, upon which all ^^^^^ 
founded, are derived from the Divine will. That - -P ^^ ;: 
order nroo-ress, and government. God's will is universal hai 
oidei, PiOo'ej^ » ignorant of this regulative 

mony. On earth, men aie laioeiy „ 

.vill, and are irregular in their obedience to *-* ^^^^^ ; 
knoVn, or are wholly disobedient and rebellious. B"* '"'^-^ 
en perfect obedience follows knowledge. The will of God is 

ILteted. Men are here in the "l--^^ ^ — ^t ';:; 
ehestra each instrument at discord with its fellows, but m 
h av n tie chorus will flow forever in harmonious sweetness, 
i desiring our own spiritual good, we must come into sym- 
p «; with the work of God in the whole race, ajjd s e, ^. 
dently the consummation of the Divine will m all the eaith 

and through all time. pviirpss 

Thus far, in the Lord's Prayer, men are taught to expiess 
love ev i;nce, and the aspiration of earnest benevolence. 
tL; L to put forth their first desires, and their «est 
in behalf of the Divine glory and of the welfare of he w o^e 
kingdom. Then, as single individuals in that kmS^om they 
ma^ make supplication for their own personal wants. Gue us 
this dai/ our dailij hread. 



Bread may be regarded as the symbol of all that support 
which the body needs. To pray for daily bread is to pray 
for all necessary support. It is to invoke the protection of 
Divine Providence, and in its spirit it includes whatever is 
needed for the comfort of our physical life. Thus, however 
favored of wealth and its fruits, all men have conscious needs 
which are touched by the spirit of this cry for bread. But 
they to whom it was first sjDoken knew the pangs of hunger. 
Their daily bread was by no means sure. It was the one 
w\ant that never left them. Nor is it to be forij-otten that the 
great mass of men on the globe to-day are living in such al)ject 
condition as to make the question of food a matter of anxiety 
for every single day. The prayer for bread unites more voices 
on earth than any other. 

The next petition is for the forgiveness of sins; and it is 
coupled with a reminder of man's duty of forgiveness toward 
his fellow-men. Forgive us our debts, as tve forgive our debtors. 
No other offence seems to have been regarded as so fatal to 
true manhood as a cruel and harm-bearing disposition. Even 
indifference to another's welfare aroused the Master's rebuke ; 
Ijut a wilful animosity, or an infliction of unnecessary pain, w^as 
regarded with the severest condemnation.^ No other sin is 
more common or more culpable. The only comment of our 
Lord upon this prayer touches this malign trait in a manner 
of peculiar solemnity. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, yonr 
Heavenly Father will also forgive you : but if ye forgive not men their 
trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. 

The next petition, Lead us not into temptation, is not incon- 
sistent with the expression of joy when men fall into divers 
temptations.^ Men often rejoice in a conflict, after it is past, 
which they dreaded in anticipation. Looking forth into the 
future, a soul conscious of its weakness dreads being put under 
severe temptation. Those who have seen the most of active 
life will most deej^ly feel the need of this petition. No one 
can tell beforehand how he W\\\ be affected by persistent, in- 
sidious, and vehement temptations. If it is a duty to avoid 
evil, it is surely permissible to solicit Divine help thereto. 

* See Matt. vi. 14, 15 ; Luke vi. 37 ; Matt, xviii. 35. 
^ James i. 2. 



But when under Divine Providence it is necessary that men 
should pass through a conflict with evil, that very conscious- 
ness of their own Aveakness which led them to pray that they 
might not be tempted now causes them to turn to God for 
strenscth to resist and overcome the evil. In like manner the 
Saviour prayed in Gethsemane that the cup might pass ; but 
then, since that might not be, he conformed himself to the 
will of God. All deep feelings grow into paradoxes. Fear 
and courage may coexist. One may dread to be tempted, and 
yet rejoice in being tried.^ 

9. Fasting. — AVe have seen that Jesus was in the midst of 
a criticism upon pretentious almsgiving and ostentatious prayer, 
when asked to give an example of prayer. Having complied, 
he now resumes the interrupted theme, and warns them against 
ftisting in a spirit of vanity. Religious fasting had long pre- 
vailed among the devout Jews. It had been jierverted by 
ascetics on the one hand, and by the Pharisees on the other. 
Jesus certainly uttered no word which tended to increase the 
respect of men for this practice. His example was regarded 
as lowerino; the value of fiisting, and he w\as on one occasion 
expostulated with, and John's example contrasted with his more 
cheerful conduct. But he did not come to found a religion of 
the cave or the cloister, but a religion which should develop 
every side of manhood, and which, while deep and earnest, 
should yet be sweet and cheerful. In such a religion nothing 

* The doxology, " For thine is the kingdom," etc., is admirably accordant with the spirit 
of the Lord's Prayer, but not with its object. It was not included in ihe prayer as origi- 
nally recorded by Matthew, and in Luke it does not appear even now. In the Jewish 
religious synagogical services, to which the early Christians had been trained, the dox- 
oligy was of freijuent occurrence, and in using the Lord's Prayer it was natural that it 
should be appended to this as to all other prayers. It is not strange that at length it 
should creep into the text of early ver. ions, without l^he design of improper interpolation, 
simply because in oral use it had so long been associated with the prayer itself. The most 
ancient and authoritative manuscripts are unanimous in omitting it. 

Called forth by the re(juest of a discij>le, the prayer was given, as we see by IMatthew's 
Gospel, as a model of brevity, in contr^ist with the senseless repetitions of the heathen 
prayers. It is an extraordinary fact, tliHt the Lord's Prayer has been made the agent 
of that very repetition which it was meant to correct. Tholuck says : " That prayer 
which He gave as an antidote to those repetitions is the very one which has been most 
abused by vain repetitions. According to the rosary, the Pater NoMer (Patriloquia, 
as it is called) is [in certain of the church services] jirayed fifteen times (or seven or 
five times), and the Ace Maria one liuudi-ed and fiity times (or fifty or sixty-three 


n0 ^ 


could be more offensive than insincere devotion, pretentious 
humility, and hypocritical self-denial. 

Thus far the discourse had borne upon the popular notions 
of religious worship. Jesus now subjects to the spiritual stand- 
ard of the new life those economic opinions which then ruled 
the world, as they still do. Next after the glory of military 
power, the imagination of the world has always been infatu- 
ated with riches. They command so many sources of enjoy- 
ment, and redeem men from so many of the humiliations which 
poverty inflicts, that the Jew, to whose fathers wealth was 
promised as a reward of obedience, a token of Divine favor, 
would naturally put a very high estimate upon it. In fact, the 
pursuit of wealth was one of the master passions of that age. 
Everything else was made subordinate to it. It usurped the 
place of religion itself, and drew men after it with a kind of 
fanaticism. Against this over-valuation and inordinate pursuit 
of wealth our Lord protested. La(/ not up for yourselves treasures 
upon earth, .... hut lay up for yourselves treas^ires in heaven. Here 
moral excellence is put in contrast with physical treasure. 
Men are to seek nobility of character, riches of feeling, strength 
of manhood, and not perishable wealth. Nor can they divide 
their hearts between virtue and riches when these stand in 
opposition. The soul's estate must be the supreme ambition. 
Unity and simplicity of moral purpose is indispensable to good- 
ness and happiness. The reconciliation of avarice with devo- 
tion, of self-indulgence in luxury with supreme love to God, 
is utterly impossible. One may serve two masters, if the two 
are of one mind ; one may serve two alternately, even if they 
differ. But where two masters represent opposite qualities and 
wills, and each demands the whole service, it is impossible to 
serve both. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. The absolute 
supremacy of man's moral nature over every part of secular 
life is nowhere taught with such emphasis and solemnity as in 
Christ's treatment of riches. The ardor and force of his dec- 
larations might almost lead one to supjDOse that he forbade 
his followers all participation in riches, as will more plainly 
appear when we shall give a summary view of all his utter- 
ances on that topic. 

Not only did Jesus reprobate the spirit of avarice, but the 






vulgar fornl^ of it which exists among the poor came under 
his criticism. All grinding anxiety for the common necessaries 
of life he declared to be 

both unwise and impious: -£j^\:> 

unwise, because it did no 
good ; impious, because it 
reflected upon God's kind 
providence. He referred to 
that economy in nature by 
which eyerything is pro- 
vided for in the simple ex- 
ercise of its common organs 
or faculties ; the grass, the 
lily, the sparrow, had but to 
put forth their respective 
powers, and nature yielded 
all their needs. Let man, a 
higher being, put forth his 
nobler faculties, — reason and 
the moral sentiments, — and 
a life guided by these would 
be sure to draw in its train, 

not only virtue and happiness, but whatever of temporal good 
is necessary. 

There is no worldly wisdom like that Avhicli springs from the 
moral sentiments. On the great scale. Piety and Plenty go 
hand in hand. He that secures God secures his favoring 
providence. Man is governed by laws which reward morality. 
Piety itself is the highest morality. Seek yc first the Jciugdom of 
God and his rigMeousness, and all these things shall he added unto 
you. The sordid anxieties of the poor and the avarice of the 
rich spring from the same source, and are alike culpable. Faith 
in Divine Providence should forestall and prevent fretting cares 
and depressing fears. 

This matchless discourse closes with a series of moral truths 
that are clustered together more like a chapter from the Book 
of Proverbs than like the flowiuii; sentences of an ordinary dis- 
course. Censorious judgments of our fellow-men are forbidden. 

■' X'- 






Men who believe themselves to hold the whole truth, and pride 
themselves on knowledge and purity, are very apt to look 
Avith suspicion and contempt on all that are not orthodox ac- 
cording to their standard. Harsh judgments in religious matters 
seem inseparable from a state in which conscience is stronger 
than love. Leniency and forgiveness are commanded ; blindness 
to our own flxults and sensitiveness to the fjiilings of others are 
pointed out. Caution is enjoined in speaking of eminent truths 
in the hearing of the base. The fatherhood of God, ftir nobler 
and kinder than any earthly fatherhood, is made the ground 
of confident supplication. The Golden Rule is set forth. Re- 
ligion is declared not to be an indolent luxury, but a vehe- 
ment strife, taxing men's resources 
to the uttermost. His disciples are 
cautioned against false teachers, 
against specious moralit}^ against 
a boastful familiarit}' with Divine 
things while the life is carnal and 
secular ; and, finally, his hearers 
are urged to a practical use of the 
whole discourse by a striking pic- 
ture of houses built upon the sand 
or upon the rock, and their respec- 
tive powers of endurance. 

1. In this sermon of Jesus there 
is a full and continual disclosure 
of a Divine consciousness which did 
not leave him to the end of his 
career. His method was that of 
simple declaration, and not of reasoning or of proof The 
simple sentences of the Sermon fell from him as ripe fruit 
from the bough in a still day. Although they reached out 
far beyond the attainments of his age, and developed an ideal 
style of character and a sphere of morality which addressed 
itself to the heroic elements in man, his teachings were not 
labored nor elaborate, but had the completeness and brevity 
of thoughts most familiar to him. He unfolded the old na- 
tional faith to its innermost nature. In his hands it glowed 
as if it were descended from heaven ; and yet he spoke of the 




religion of the Jews with the authority of a gocl, and not with 
tlie submissiveness of a man. He stood in the road alono; 
which travelled a thousand traditions and evil glosses, and 
turned them aside by his simple, imperial, " I say unto you " ! 

There was no inequality or unharmony in the whole dis- 
course. The pitch at the beginning was taken far above the 
line of any doctrine then in practice, and to the end the ele- 
vation was sustained. It was the teaching of one who saw 
men as men had never yet been. The possible manhood, 
never yet developed, was fomiliar to Jesus, and upon that 
ideal he fashioned every precept. Not a note fell from the 
pitch. Every single thought was brought up to a manhood far 
transcending that of his own age. It is this that gives to the 
Sermon on the Mount an air of impossibility. Men look upon 
its requisitions as exceeding the power of man. But none 
of them were lowered in accommodation to the moral tone of 
his times, every one of them chording with the key-note, — 
Except ijour righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the Scribes 
and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the Jcingdom of heaven. 

2. In its spirit and secret tendency the Sermon on the Mount 
may be regarded as a charter of personal liberty. It does 
not formally proclaim man's freedom, but no one can follow it 
without that result. It places moral life upon grounds which 
imply and promote moral sovereignty in the individual. This 
it does by removing the emphasis of authority derived from all 
external rules, and placing it in man's own moral consciousness. 
It is an appeal from rides to principles. Rules are mere methods 
by which principles are specifically applied. Feeble and unde- 
veloped natures need at each step a formula of action. They 
are not wdse enough to apply a principle to the changing cir- 
cumstances of experience. But rules that help the weak to 
follow principle should tend to educate them to follow prin- 
ciple without such help. Instead of that, rulers, teachers, and 
hierarchs, finding them convenient instruments of authority, 
multiply them, clothe them with the sanctity of principles, 
and hold men in a bondage of superstition to customs, rites, 
and arbitrary regulations. 

The appeal in the Sermon on the Mount is always to the 
natural grounds of right, and never to the traditional, the his- 

^ : ^ 


torical, and the artificial. In no single case did Jesus institute 
a method, or external law. Every existing custom or practice 
which he touched he resolved back to some natural faculty or 
principle. By shifting the legislative power from the external 
to the internal, from rules to principles, from • synagogues and 
Sanhedrim to the living moral consciousness of men, the way 
was prepared for great expansion of reason and freedom of 
conscience. The most striking example of philosophic gener- 
alization in history is that by which Jesus reduced the whole 
Mosaic system and the whole substance of Jewish literature 
into the simple principle of love. " Tliou shalt love the Lord 
thy God with all thy heart, and thy neighbor as thyself. On 
these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets'' 

This discourse recognizes the soul as the man. The body is 
only a passive instrument. Action is but the evidence of what 
is going on within ; it has no moral character, good or bad, 
except that which is impressed upon it by the faculties which 
inspire it. A man's thoughts and cherished feelings determine 
his character. He may be a murderer, who never slays his 
enemy ; an adulterer, who never fulfils the wishes of illicit love ; 
an irreligious man, who spends his life in offices of devotion ; a 
selfish creature, whose vanity inspires charitable gifts. It is the 
soul that determines manhood. Only God and man's self can 
control these. Man is the love-servant of God, and sovereign 
of himself The highest personal liberty consists in the ability 
and willingness of man to do right from inward choice, and not 
from external influences. 

3. In this inward and spiritual element we have the solution 
of difficulties which to many have beset what may be called 
the political and economic themes of this discourse. Jesus dis- 
closed to his disciples a kingdom in which no man should em- 
ploy physical force in self-defence ; and yet this would seem 
to giye unobstructed dominion to selfii^h strength. No man may 
resist the unlawful demands of government, — let him rather 
do cheerfully fiir more than is Avrongfully required, — and to 
every aspect of physical force he would have his disciples op- 
pose only the calmness and kindness of benevolence; yet this 
would seem to make wicked governments secure. The history 
of civilization certainly shows that society can redeem itself 

c^ . ^ — ^ 


from barbarism only by enterprise, by painstaking industry, by 
sao-acious foresi";ht and reasonable care ; but Jesus refers his 
disciples to the flowers and birds as exemplars of freedom from 
care ; forbids men to lay up treasure on earth, or to live in 
regard to earthly things more than by the single day, and de- 
clares that they must implicitly trust the paternal care of God 
for all their wants. Nay, if they are possessed of some wealth, 
they are not to husband it, but give to him that asketh thee, and 
from him that tvould borrow of thee turn not thou aimy. 

It is certain that a literal interpretation of these precepts 
respecting giving, lending, resistance of evil, forethought, acqui- 
sition of property and its tenure in common, would bring Chris- 
tianity into conflict with every approved doctrine of political 
economy, and w^ould seem to compel man to spend his earthly 
life in little more than meditation, — a conception which might 
suit the natural ease, not to say indolence, of an Oriental life 
in a genial tropical climate, but which would seem utterly ruin- 
ous to the jDrosperity of a vigorous and enterprising race in 
the cold zones and upon a penurious soil. To insist upon a 
literal fulfilment of any economic precepts would violate the 
spirit of the discourse, whose very genius it is to release men 
from bondage to the letter and bring them into the liberty of 
the spirit. 

It is very certain that an earnest attempt to make the spirit 
of these precepts the rule of life wdll bring out in men a moral 
force of transcendent value, and that among primitive Chris- 
tians, and in modern days in the small company of Friends, a 
remarkable degree of prosperity even in worldly things has 
followed a more rigorous interpretation of these commands 
than is generally practised. On the other hand, the attempt 
to make property the common and equal possession of all has 
led to some of the worst social evils. The partial success which 
has attended the experim-ent, in small bodies, has been at the 
expense of a general development of the individuals. But 
whether an immediate and literal obedience to Christ's teach- 
ings upon the subject of property and industry would be bene- 
ficial, or would be possible in nations not placed as the Jews 
were, — whether the weight of society and all the accumula- 
tions of that very civilization which Christianity has produced 

C^ J] 


could be Riistainecl upon such foundations, — hardly admits of 
debate. If bis precepts were meant ever to be taken literally, 
it must have been in a condition of society in the future, of 
which there was yet no pattern among men. 

It is certain that every step which human life has ever 
taken toward a full realization of the general morality of the 
Sermon on" the Mount has developed an unsuspected and won- 
derful prosperity, moral and social. 

We must believe, then, that Jesus gave this grand picture of 
the new life for immediate and practical use, but that it was 
to be interpreted, not by the narrowness of the letter, but by 
the largeness of the spirit. He seemed to foresee what has so 
often appeared, the barren admiration of men who praise this 
discourse as a power, as a merely ideal justice, as a beautiful 
but impracticable scheme of ethics ; for he turns upon such, 
at the close, with a striking parable designed to enforce the 
immediate application of his teachings. And why call ye me 
Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say ? Therefore 
whosoever cometh to me, and heareth these sayings of mine, 
and doeth them, I will show ^-ou to whom he is like : he is 
like a wise man Avhich built his house and digged deep, and 
laid the foundation on a rock; and when the rain descended, 
and the floods came, and the winds blew, and the storm beat 
violently upon that house and could not shake it, it fell not, 
for it was founded on a rock. But every one that heareth 
these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, is like a foolish 
man, which built his house without a foundation upon the 
sand ; and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the 
winds blew, and the storm did beat vehemently upon that 
house, and innnediately it fell, and great was the fall of it. 

4. The hold which the Sermon on the Mount has had, and 
continues to have, upon men of diverse temperaments and be- 
liefs, is not to be accounted for by an inventory of its ethical 
points. It reached to the very centre of rectitude, and gave to 
human conduct inspirations that will never diminish. All this 
might have been done in unsympathetic severity, leaving the 
Sermon like a mountain barrier between right and wrong, so 
rugged, barren, and solitary that men would not love to as- 
cend or frequent it. But Jesus breathed over the whole an air 




of genial tranquillity that wins men to it as to a garden. The 
precepts grow like flowers, and are fragrant. The cautions and 
condemnations lie like sunny 
hedges oi walls covered with 
moss or vines. In no part can 
it be called dreamy, yet it is 
pervaded by an element of 
sweetness and peace, which 
charms us none the less be- 
cause it eludes analysis. Like 
a mild day in early June, the 
sky, the earth, the air, the birds 
and herbage, things near and 
things far off, seem under some 
heavenly influence. The heav- 
ens unfold, and in place of dread- 
ful deities we behold " Our 
Father." His personal care is 
over all the affairs of life. The 
trials of this mortal sphere go 
on for a purpose of good, and 
our fears, our burdens, and our 
sufferings are neither accidents 
nor vengeful punishments, but 
a discipline of education. The 
end of life is a glorified manhood. At every step Jesus invokes 
the nobler motives of the human soul. There is nothing of the 
repulsiveness of morbid anatomy. Where the knife cut to the 
very nerve, it was a clean and wholesome blade, that carried 
no poison. The whole discourse lifts one out of the lower life, 
and sets in motion those higher impulses from which the soul 
derives its strength and happiness. While it has neither the 
rhythm nor the form of poetry, yet an ideal element in it 
produces all the charms of poetry. Portions of the Sermon 
might be chanted in low tones, as one sings cheering songs in 
his solitude. It is full of light, full of cheer, full of faith in 
Divine love and of the certainty of possible goodness in man. 
The immeasurable distance between the flesh and the spirit, 
between the animal and man, is nowhere more clearly revealed 




than in this beautiful discourse. Thus the Son of God stood 
among men, talking with them face to face as a brother, and 
giving to them, in his own spirit, glimpses of that heavenly 
rest for which all the world, at times, doth sigh. 

The Sermon on the Mount drew a line which left the great 
])ody of the influential men of his country on one side, and 
Jesus and his few disciples on the other. If it were to be 
merely a discourse, and nothing else, it might be tolerated. 
But if it was a policy, to be followed up by active measures, 
it was scarcely less than an open declaration of Avar. The 
Pharisees were held up by name to the severest criticism. 
Their philosophy and their most sacred religious customs were 
mercilessly denounced, and men w^ere warned against their ten- 
dencies. The influence of iha criticisms upon fasting, prayer, 
and almsgiving was not limited to these special topics, but 
must have been regarded as an attack ujDon the whole method 
of worship:) by means of cumbersome rituals. Ritualism was 
not expressly forbidden ; but if the invisible was to be so 
highly esteemed, if simplicity, heart purity, spirituality, and 
absolute privacy of spiritual life, were to be accepted as the 
governing ideals of worship, all authoritative and obligatory 
ritualism would wither and drop away from the ripened grain 
as so much chaff, — without prejudice, however, to the spon- 
taneous use of such material forms in worshij) as may be found 
by any one to be specially helpful to hhn. Neither in this 
sermon nor in any after discourse did Jesus encourage the use 
of symbols, if we except Baptism and the Lord's Supper. He 
never rebuked men for neglect of forms, nor put one new 
interpretation to them, nor added a line of attractive color. 
The whole land was full of ritual customs. The days were all 
marked. The very hours were numbered. Every emotion had 
its channel and course pointed out. Men were drilled to re- 
ligious methods, until all spontaneity and personal liberty had 
wellnigh become extinct. In the midst of such artificial ways, 
Christ stands up as an emancipator. He appeals directly to 
the reason and to the conscience of men. He founds nothing 
upon the old authority. He even confronts the "common law" 
of his nation with his own personal authority, as if his words 

^ ^ 




would touch a responsive feeling in every heart. "Ye have 
heard that it was said by them of old time," — i?^^^f I sat/ unto 
you. This was an appeal from all the past to the living con- 
sciousness of the present. It was so understood. There was 
an unmistakable and imperial force in that phrase, "I say unto 
you"; and when the last sentence had been heard, there was 
a stir' and the universal feeling broke out in the expression, 
'^ He teaches as one having authority, and not as the Scribes." 

Whatever may have kept the Pharisees silent, there can be 
no doubt that this discourse was regarded by them as an end 
of peace. Henceforth their only thought was how to compass 
the downfall of a dangerous man, who threatened to alienate 
the people from their religious control. Every day Jesus 
would now be more closely watched. His enemies were all 
the while in secret counsel. Step by step they followed him, 
from the slopes of Mount Hattin to the summit of Calvary ! 







THE crowd did not disperse or open to let Jesus pass through, 
but closed about him and thronged his steps, as he returned 
home to Capernaum. His discourses seem to have fascinated 
the people almost as much as his wonderful deeds astonished 
them. We do not imagine that the walk was a silent one. 
There must have been much conversation by the way, much 
discussion, and doubtless many replies of wisdom and benefi- 
cence from Jesus not less striking than the sentences of the 
sermon. From this time forth the life of Jesus is crowded with 
dramatic incidents. Nowhere else do we find so many events 
of great moral significance painted with unconscious skill by so 
few strokes. Their number perplexes our attention. Like stars 
in a rich cluster in the heavens, they run together into a haze 
of brightness, to be resolved into their separate elements only 
by the strongest glass. Each incident, if drawn ajiart and 
studied separately, affords food for both the imagination and 
the heart. 

By one occurrence a striking insight is given into the rela- 


fl- -a 


tions which sometimes subsisted between the Jews and their 
conquerors. Not <a few Eomans, it may be believed, were won 
to the Jewish rehgion. The centurion of Capernaum, without 
I doubt, was a convert. We cannot conceive otherwise that he 
\ should have built the Jews a synagogue, and that he should be 
on such intimate terms with the rulers of it as to make them 
his messengers to Jesus. This Roman, like so many other sub- 
jects of the Gospel record, has come down to us without a 
name, and, except a single scene, without a history. 

Soon after the return of Jesus to Capernaum, he was met 
(where, it is not said) by the rulers of the synagogue, bearing 
an earnest request from the centurion that he would heal a 
! favorite slave, who lay sick and at the point of death. The 
I honorable men who bore the message must have been well 
! known to Jesus, and their importunity revealed their own in- 
terest in their errand. " They besought him instantly, saying 
that he was worthy for whom he should do this." Nor should 
I we fail to notice this appeal made to the patriotism of Jesus, 
\ which, coming from men who were familiar with his life and 
teachings, indicates a marked quality of his disposition. "He 
loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue." That 
the heart of Jesus was touched is shown in that he required 
no tests of faith, but with prompt sympathy said, " I will come 
and heal him." And, suiting the action to the Avord, he went 
with them at once to the centurion's house. 

Learning that Jesus was drawing near, the centurion sent 
another deputation, whose message, both for courtesy and for hu- 
mility, in one born to command, was striking, — "Lord, trouble 
not thyself; for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter 
under my roof: wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to 
come unto thee ; but speak the word only, and my servant shall 
be healed." Then, alluding to his own command over his fol- 
lowers, he implies that Jesus has but to make known his will, 
and all diseases, and life, and death itself, would obey as 
promptly as soldiers the word of command. The whole scene 
filled Jesus with pleasurable astonishment. He loved the sight 
of a noble nature. And yet the contrast between the hardness 
of his unbelieving countrymen and the artless dignity of faith 
manifested by this heathen foreigner brought grief to his heart. 

-^— _^ 



It suggested the rejection of Israel and the ingathering of the 
Gentiles. Many shall come from the east and west, and shall 
sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom 
of heaven ; but the children of the kingdom shall be cast out 
into outer darkness. Then turning to the messenger he said, 
" Go thy way ; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto 
thee." The servant was instantly healed. 

The severity of tone with which Jesus spoke of the unbelief 
of the leaders of his people, and of his rejection by them, is 
only one among many indications of the rising intensity of his 
feelings at this period. Every day seemed to develop in him 
a higher energy. His calmness did not forsake him, but the 
sovereignty of his nature w^as every hour more apparent. He 
was now more than ever to grapple wdth demonic influences, 
and to overcome them. He w\as about to make his power felt 
in the realms of death, and bring back to life those who had 
passed from it. The conduct of his fjxmily and the criticisms of 
the jealous Pharisees, as we shall soon see, plainly enough in- 
dicate that this elevation of spirit manifested itself in his whole 
carriage, and many even believed that he was insane, or else 
under infernal influences. 

On the day following the healing of the centurion's servant, 
Jesus, on one of the short excursions which he was Avont to 
make from Capernaum, came to the village of Nain, on the 
slope of Little Hermon and nearly south of Nazareth, on the 
edge of the great plain of Esdraelon. In the rocky sides of 
the hill near by were hewn the burial-chambers of the village, 
and toward them, as Jesus drew near, was slowly proceeding a 
funeral train. It was a widowed mother bearing her only son 
to the sepulchre. She was w^ell known, and the circumstances 
of her great loss had touched the sympathies of her townsfolk, 
" and much people of the city was with her." His first word 
was one of courage to the disconsolate mourner, — "Weep not!" 
He then laid his hand upon the bier. Such was his countenance 
and commanding attitude that the procession halted. There was 
to be no deluding ceremony, no necromancy. " Young man, 
I say unto thee, Arise ! " The blood again beat from his heart, 
the light dawned upon his eyes,, and his breathing lips spake ! 

There is no grief like a mother's grief. No one who has the 




heart of a son can see a great nature given up to inconsolable 
sorrow without sympathy. It was not the mission of Jesus to 
stay the hand of death, nor did he often choose to bring back 
the spirit that had once fled ; but there seem to have been 
two motives here for his interposition. The overwhelming grief 
of the widowed mother wrought strongly upon his sympathy, 
and there were special reasons why he should just now make 
a supreme manifestation of his Divine power. Every day the 
leaven of opposition to him was working. Openly or insidi- 
ously, he was resisted and vilified. His own spirit evidently 
was roused to intensity, and began to develop an elevation and 
force which far surpassed any hitherto put forth. At such a 
time, the restoration to life of a dead man, in the presence of 
so vast a throng, could not but produce a deep impression. It 
was an act of sovereignty which would render powerless the 
efforts of the emissaries from Jerusalem to wean the common 
people from his influence. This end seems to have been gained. 
The people were electrified, and cried out, "A great prophet is 
risen up among us ! " others said, " God hath visited his people." 
The tidings of this act ran through the nation; not only in 
"the region round about," but "the rumor of hun went forth 
throuohout all Judaea." 

The battle now begins. Everywhere he carried with him the 
enthusiastic multitude. Everywhere the Temple party, lurking 
about his steps, grew more determined to resist the reforma- 
tion and to destroy the reformer. We are not to suppose that 
the presence and the miracles of Jesus produced the same effect 
upon the multitudes present with him that they do upon de- 
vout and believing souls now. Our whole life has been educated 
by the discourses of this Divine Man. We do violence to our 
nature, to all our associations and sympathies, if we do not 
believe. But in the crowds which surrounded Jesus in his 
lifetime there was every conceivable diversity of disposition; 
and though curiosity and wonder and a general social exhila- 
ration were connnon to all, these were not valuable in the eyes 
of Jesus. The insatiable hunger of Orientals for signs and won- 
ders was even a hindrance to his designs of instruction. In 
every way he repressed this vague and fruitless excitement. The 
deeper moral emotions which he most esteemed were produced 


^ . g^ 


in very imperfect forms and in but comparatively few persons. 
Cautious men held their convictions in suspense. Many favored 
him and followed him without really committing themselves to 
his cause. 

There will always be men who Avill show favor to the hero 
of the hour. Such a one was Simon the Pharisee, who prob- 
ably dwelt in Nain or in its neighborhood, for at that time this 
whole region was populous and prosjDcrous. It had not then 
been given over to the incursions of the Bedouins, who for cen- 
turies have by continual ravages kept this beautiful territory 
in almost complete desolation. 

Invited to the house of Simon to dine, Jesus repaired thither 
with his disciples. There went with him, also, unbidden guests. 
Not the widowed mother alone had felt the sympathy of his 
nature. While he was bringing back to life her son, there was 
in the crowd one who felt the need of a resurrection from the 
dead even more than if her body, rather than her honor, had 
died. In the presence of Jesus the sense of her degradation 
became unendurable. In him she beheld a benefactor who 
might rescue her. All men despised her. Her reputation, like 
a brazen wall, stood between her and reformation. For her 
there were no helpers. Bad men were friendly only for evil. 
Moral men shut up their sympathies from one Avho was an out- 
cast. The gratitude of the mother for her child restored must 
have been like incense to the sensitive soul of Jesus. But it 
is doubtful whether he did not more profoundly rejoice in the 
remorse, the absorbing grief, the hope struggling against de- 
spair, that filled the bosom of this unknown Magdalen. 

As Jesus reclined at dinner, according to the Oriental custom, 
this penitent woman, coming behind, without word or permission, 
wept at the feet of Jesus unrebuked. So copiously flowed her 
tears that his feet were wet, and with her dishevelled locks she 
sought to remove the sacred tears of penitence. The very per- 
fumes which had been provided for her own person she lavished 
upon this stranger's feet. That she was not spurned was to her 
trembling heart a sign of grace and favor. When the Pharisee 
beheld, without sympathy, the forbearance of Jesus, it stirred up 
his heart against his guest. Like many others he had been in 
suspense as to the true character of the man. Now the decis- 

[fr- ^ ^ 


ion was unfavorable. It was clear that he was not a prophet 
of God. " This man, if he were a prophet," he said within him- 
self, " would have known who and what manner of woman this 
is that toucheth him : for she is a sinner." He could not con- 
ceive of a divinity of compassion. God, to his imagination, was 
only an enlarged Pharisee, careful of his own safety, and care- 
less of those made wretched by their own sins. These thoughts 
were interpreted upon his countenance by a look of displeasure 
and contempt. He did not expect to be humbled in the sight 
of all his guests b}^ an exposition of his own inhospitality; for 
it seems that while he had invited Jesus to dine, it was more 
from curiosity than respect, and he seems to have considered 
that the fiivor Avliich he thus conferred released him from those 
rites which belong to Oriental hospitality. In a parable, Jesus 
propounded to him a question. If a creditor generously forgives 
two debtors, one of fifty pence and the other of five hundred, 
which will experience the most gratitude ? The answer was 
obvious, " I suppose that he to whom he forgave most." " Thou 
hast rightly judged." Then, in simple phrase, but with terrible 
emphasis, he contrasted the conduct of this fallen woman with 
the insincere hospitality of the host. " Seest thou this woman ? 
I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my 
feet : but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them 
with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss : but this 
woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my 
feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint : but this woman 
hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto 
thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven ; for she loved 
much : but to whom little is forgiven, the same lovetli little." 
With ineffal)le grace, Jesus turns from the Pharisee, silent under 
this rebuke, to the woman : " Thy sins are forgiven." The effect 
produced upon the company shows that these Avords were no 
mere pious phrases, but were uttered with an authority which 
a mere man had no rio;ht to assume. " Who is this that for- 
giveth sins also ? " Truly, who can forgive sins but God only ? 
Jesus did not deign an explanation. In the same lofty mood 
of sovereignty he dismissed the ransomed soul : " Thy faith 
hath saved thee ; go in peace." But such a gracious sen- 
tence was the strongest possible confirmation of their judgment 

[ft .. ■ ^ 

a a 


that he had assumed to perform the functions of a Divine 

We shall hereafter find many a brief controversy in which a 
parable, or a simple question touching the marrow of things, 
puts his adversaries to silence, convicting them even when they 
would not be convinced. Upon this day there had been two 
deaths, and the living death the most jDiteous and least pitied 
among; men : two resurrections, and the less marvellous of the 
two was the more wondered at : two proofs of Divinity, — one 
to the senses, and impressive to the lowest and highest alike ; 
the other transcendently brighter, but perceived only by those 
whose moral sensibilities gave them spiritual eyesight. The fur- 
ther history of the widow's son is not recorded. For a moment 
he stands forth with singular distinctness, and then sinks back 
into forg:etfidness, without name or memorial. 

At about this time the figure of John comes for a moment 
to the light. He had probably lain for six months in his prison 
at Macha^rus. Although in his youth he had been trained in 
solitude, it was the solitude of freedom and of the wilderness. 
There is evidence that his long confinement in prison began 
to wear upon his spirits. It is true that he was not Avholly 
cut off from the companionship of men. As John's offence was 
political only in pretence, Herod did not guard his prisoner so 
but that his disciples had access to him. Can Ave doubt what 
was the one theme of the Baptist's inquiry ? The work which 
he had begun, which Jesus was to take up, — how fared it ? 
AVhy was there no overwhelming disclosure of the new king- 
dom ? Of what use were discourses and wonderful works so long 
as the nation stood unmoved ? A long time had elapsed since 
Christ's baptism. He had not openly proclaimed even his Mes- 
siahship. He had not gathered his followers either into a church 
or an army. He gave no signs of lifting that banner which was 
to lead Israel to universal supremacy. He was sj^ending his 
days in Galilee, far from Jerusalem, the proper capital of the 
new kingdom as of the old, and among a largely foreign popu- 
lation. Nor was he denouncing the Avickedness of his times as 
John did, nor keeping the reserve of a lofty sanctity, but Avas 
teaching in villages like a prophet-schoolmaster, receiving the 
frequent hospitality of the rich, and even partaking of social fes- 

^ ^ ^ 

^ -tb 


tivities and public banquets. Many of John's disciples, as we 
know, were with Jesus during several of his journeys, attentive 
listeners and observers. Many openly adhered to the new 
leader and all seemed friendly. But it is natural that a few 
sliould be jealous for their old master, and that they should 
prefer the downright impetuosity of John to the calmer and 
crentler method of Jesus. They would naturally carry back to 
the solitary man in prison accounts colored by their feelings. 
To all this should be added that depression of spirits which 
settles upon an energetic nature when no longer connected with 
actual affairs. Much of hope and courage springs from sympa- 
thy and contact with society. We grow uncertain of things 
which we can no longer see. 

Whatever may have been John's mood and its causes, it is 
certain that the message which he now sent to Jesus implied 
distressing doubts, which were reprehended by the closmg sen- 
tence of Jesus's reply, Blessed is he, whosoever shall not be of ended 
in me John was in danger of losing faith in Jesus, and there 
is an almost piteous tone of entreaty in the inquiry which he 
sent his disciples to make: "Art thou he that should come? 
or look we for another?" Of what use would be an assev- 
eration in words, or an apologetic explanation? There was 
a more cogent reply. It would seem that Jesus delayed his 
answer, and went on with his teaching and miracles m the pres- 
ence of John's waiting disciples. - In that same hour he cured 
many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evd spirits ; and 
unto many that were blind he gave sight." It is possible that 
these messengers had been with Jesus at Nain and beheld the 
raisino- of the" widow's son, since he mentions the raising of the 
dead "as one of the acts of power which they had witnessed, 
and the widow's son was the first instance recorded. Durmg 
his ministry only three cases of this kind are mentioned, namely, 
the young man at Nain, the daughter of Jairus, and Lazarus, the 
brother of Mary and Martha. Yet it by no means follows that 
these were the only instances. 

These wonderful deeds, enacted before their eyes, were the 
answer which they were to carry back. It implies the essentml 
nobility of John's nature, as if he only needed to be brought 
into sympathy with such living work to recognize the Divme 

^ -i 



power. "Go, .... tell Jolm these things which ye have seen 
and heard : how that the blind receive their sig'lit, and the lame 
walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are 
raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached unto them." 

It was not the rumor of wonderful works that John's messen- 
gers were to carry back, but the testimony of Avhat they them- 
selves had "seen and heard." No rumor could surpass the 
reality ; none of all the special deeds performed Avould be likely 
to satisfy the mind of John so much as the greatest marvel of 
all, — that one had appeared to whom the poor were an object 
of solicitude ! Not the healing of the sick, nor even the raising 
of the dead, Avas so surprising as that a person clothed with 
Divine power, able to draw to him the* homage of the rich and 
of the influential, should address himself specially to the poor. 
Wonders and miracles might be counterfeited ; but a sympathy 
with suffering and helplessness so tender, so laborious, and so 
long continued, was not likely to be simulated. Such humanity 
was unworldly and divine. 

Ample provision was made among the Jews for the instruction 
of all the funilies of the nation, but the great disasters Avliich 
had befallen that people had interrupted the action of this be- 
nevolent polity. Sifted in among the native Jews, especially in 
Galilee, were thousands of foreigners, many of them extremely 
ignorant, debased, and poor, wdio were objects of religious preju- 
dice and aversion. The Mosaic institutes breathed a spirit of 
singular humanity toward the poor. No nation of antiquity can 
show such benevolent enactments ; nor can Christian nations 
boast of any advance in the temper or polity by which the 
evils of poverty are alleviated and the w^eak preserved from the 
oppression of the strong. It was promised to the ancient Jew, 
at least by implication, that, if he maintained the Divine econo- 
my established by Moses, " there shall be no poor among you " 
(Deut. XV. 4, 5). In the palmy days of Israel there were no 
beggars; and there is no Hebrew word for begging.^ But in 

• Professor T. J. Conant, of Brooklyn, for many years engaged in the translation and 
revision of the Scriptures for the American Bible Union, a friend to whom I am in- 
debted for many valuable suggestions in matters of scholarly research, writes me, in 
reference to this, as follows : — 

'• There is no word in Hebrew that specifically means to beg. Three verbs, SnV/ 
in Kal to ask, Piel to ask importunalebj, f/p2 to seek, and \i/'yi to search for, to seek, are 

t^ ^ 



the distemper of those later times all regard for the poor had 
wellnigh perished. Jesus renewed the old national feeling in 
a nobler form. Himself poor, the child of the poor, he devoted 
himself to the welfare of the needy ; and though he associated 
freely with all ranks and classes of people, his sympathy for the 
poor never waned, and his ministrations continued to the very 
end to be chietly among them. 

John's disciples depart. The great excitable and fickle crowd 
remain. How easily they had let go of John ! How eagerly 
they had taken up Jesus ! How quickly would they rush after 
the next novelty ! Like the tides, this changeable people were 
always coming and going, under influences which they could 
neither control nor understand. It did not please Jesus to see 
them the sport of every fantastic creation that could dazzle 
them with pretentious novelties. 

What went ye out into the wilderness for to see ? A reed 
shaJcen tdth ihe uincl? It was as if he had said. Now it is a 
mountebank, shrewd and shifty, that sends you roaming into 
some gathering-place, hoping for deliverance from the oppressor 
at the hands of one who only plays on your credulity for his 
own benefit, and is himself swayed hither and thither by the 
breath of self-interest, like a reed quivering in the wind ! 

Turning to others, he said : But what went ye out for to see ? 
A man clothed in soft raiment ? Did you expect deliverance would 
come to Israel from rich and luxurious men, pleasure-loving 
courtiers ? Look for such men only in courts and mansions. 
They will never task themselves for this people, but will bask 
in sumptuous palaces. 

strained from tlieir natural sense to express begging, for lack of a proper expression of it ; 
and tliis in only four passages. 

" The first, Sx'^ (compare Judges v. 25, ' he asked water '), Kal form, is used in Prov- 
erbs XX. 4, 'shall beg in harvest,' — properly, sliall ask help; Piel (intensive), Psalm cix, 
10, 'let his children be vagabonds and beg,' — properly, ask importunately. 

" The second, i^ps (participle), is used in Psalm xxxvii. 25, ' nor his seed begging 
bread,' — properly, seeking bread, as it is translated in Lamentations 1. 19, 'they sought 
their meat.' 

"The third, K'^'n, is used in Psalm cix. 10, 2d member, Eng. V., 'let them seek (their 
bread).' Gesenius needlessly gives it (here only) the sense to hey. The meaning is, 
let them seek (help), be seekers, flir from their ruined homes. 

" The word ' beggar,' in 1 Samuel ii. 8, is a mistranslation of n'^X, need;/, poor. 

" I think it entirely safe to say, as you have done, that ' there is no Hebrew word for 

^ ^ 



Turning again to others, Jesus said : But what went ?/c out 
for to see ? A prophet? A great reformer, flaming with indig- 
nation at evil, and vehement in rebuke ? John Avas indeed a 
prophet, eminent above the great brotherhood of former days. 
No other prophet was ever like him; and yet even John can 
never bring in that kingdom which God has promised to his 
people. The kingdom of the spirit is not phj-sical nor forceful. 
It dwells in the heart. It is the empire within the soul, pure, 
spontaneous, benevolent. Even the least member of this king- 
dom of the spirit is greater tlian the greatest prophet of the 
old and external dispensation. 

This was the lami-naii-e of criticism and rebuke. It contrasted 
the eagerness which many among his hearers had shown to rush 
after any sign of empire that had the tokens of external move- 
ment and force, and the disappointment which they could not 
conceal that Jesus should, wdth all his wonderful power, do 
nothing except to instruct people and to relieve the sufierings 
of the unfortunate. If this is all, said they, if marvel and dis- 
course are not leading on to organized revolt and to victorious 
onset, what is the use of them ? Truth and purity of motive 
and self-denying kindness may be all very well, but will they 
dispossess foreign armies and reinstate the Jewish rulers ? Thus 
the real excellence of the new kingdom was turned against it 
as a weakness. 

The teaching and miracles of Jesus w^ere doing little good, 
and seemed to quicken that fital tendency toward pride and 
self-indulgence which had already prevented the develo2:)ment 
of moral sensibility. It was not personal but political changes 
that men wanted. Neither John nor Jesus fed their insatiable 
ambition, and each in turn was rejected on a mere pretence. 
John is a recluse, abstinent, rigorously severe. He is possessed 
by the demon of the wilderness ! Jesus dwells among his peo- 
ple, adopts the social customs of his times, disowns all pre- 
tentious fasting and all acerb morality. He eats and drinks 
like other men : to-day he breaks bread among the poor ; to- 
morrow some ostentatious rich man will have him at his table ; 
— it makes no difference. A couch or the hard plank of a 
ship, the banquet or the crust of bread, are alike to him. But 
this universal social sympathy is charged against him by his 




censorious critics : He is a dissipated fellow, a companion of 
grossly wicked men ! For John the Bapiht came neither eating 
hrcad nor drinldng nine; and ye my, lie hath a devil. The JSon 
of 3fan is come eating and drinking ; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous 
man, and a winebihher, a ftiend of publicans and sinners ! 

To such unfriendly thoughts Jesus replies by pointing out a 
group of peevish children that had gathered in the public square. 
Their companions cry, " Let us play funeral." No, they will not 
play at that ; it is too solemn. Well, then, play wedding ! No, 
they do not like pipes and dancing ! Nothing will suit them. 
The severity of John and the gentleness of Jesus were alike 
unpalatable to men who wanted riches, power, and obsequious 
flatteries. This impenetrable worldliness ajipears to have affect- 
ed the spirits of Jesus in an unusual degree. He was saddened 
that so little of promise had resulted from his labors. 

In the full sovereignty of his nature, he called to judgment 
the cities in which he had wroug;ht the most strikino; miracles in 
the greatest numbers with the least possible effects. "Woe 
unto thee, Bethsaida," — it was a soliloquy probably, low-voiced, 
and heard only by his disciples, — " woe unto thee, Chorazin ! 
for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done 
in Tyre and Sidon [heathen cities], they would have repented 
long ago in sackcloth and ashes." In this solemn hour, Caper- 
naum, his home after his rejection by the people of Nazareth, 
rose before him as guiltiest of all. Nowhere else had he taught 
so assiduously, or performed so many beneficent works. He 
dwelt there, and was there well known. Yet in no other place 
was there so little change for good. " Thou, Capernaum, which 
art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell ; . . . . 
it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom, in the day 
of judgment, than for thee." Jesus did not undervalue the 
guilt of the cities of the plain. He left bestial vices as odious 
as the moral sense of the world had ranked them. But he 
raised the estimate of the guilt of selfish and sordid sins. 
Sodom was not less, but Capernaum was more, guilty than 
men judged. The sentence of Jesus does not change the em- 
phasis of condemnation, but its relative distribution. 

Throughout this scene of reproach, and the following passages 
of conflict with the cold and selfish religionists, the character 


[g -g] 


of Jesus assumes a new appearance. It loses nothing of be- 
nevolence, but it reveals how terrible benevolence may become 
when arrayed against evil. The guilt of sin is that it destroj's 
happiness in its very sources. Regarding the law of right as 
the law of happiness, the violation of right is the destruction of 
happiness. A disposition of disobedience is malign. It reaches 
out against universal well-being. Divine benevolence, as a part 
of the very exercise of kindness, sternly resists every active 
malign tendency. In a pure soul, indignation at evil is not an 
alternative or mere accompaniment of benevolence, but is be- 
nevolence itself acting for the preservation of happiness. It 
seems impossible that one should be good, and not abhor that 
which destroys goodness. 

In all the reproofs of Jesus there is an exaltation and calm- 
ness which renders them more terrible than if they were an 
outburst of sudden passion. It is not angered ambition, but 
repulsed kindness, that speaks. There is sadness in the severity. 
The very denunciations seem to mourn. 

After his distress had given itself voice in those severe words, 
he seems to have let go the trouble, and 'to have arisen in 
j^rayer to the bosom of his God. The gloom is breaking ! He 
sees an infinite wisdom in that love which hides from the proud 
and vain the ineffable truths of religion, and which reveals them 
to the humble and the heart-broken. The vision of God brings 
peace to him. He turns again to the people, every cloud gone 
from his face and the sternness from his words. Full of pity 
and of tenderness, in sentences that have in them the charm of 
music, he invites the troubled and unhappy around him to that 
rest of the heart which will keep in perfect peace him whose 
soul is stayed on God : — 

Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will 
give you rest. Take my yoke upon yon, and learn of me; for J 
am meek and lowly in heart : and ye shall find rest unto your soiUs. 
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. 

John's message of doubt and wavering came to Jesus while 
he was in full conflict with the emissaries from Jerusalem, who 
were sowing distrust, and who, as we shall see, had even stirred 
up his own family connections against him. The whole tone 
of Jesus's reply, the progression of thought, is that of one 

* i 

a a 


tlioroiiglily aroused and indignant at the exhibitions of moral 
meanness around him. His words were warrior words. Though 
ill prison, saddened, and about to perish, John was gently but 
faithfully rebuked. " Blessed is he, whosoever shall not be 
offended in me." If even John was culpable, how much more 
the malignant enemies around him ! Still more the cities which 
had been the focal pohits of his ministration ! Thus step by 
step his soul manifests its noble repugnance to evil, till it breaks 
forth in prayer before God, and returns, ftJl of pit}- and of yearn- 
ing,, to beseech once more the liberty of doing good to ungrate- 
ful enemies. Nothing can justify the royal tone of Jesus in 
this whole scene but the reality of his Divinity. That a man 
should make himself the fountain of cleansing influence, and 
summon all his fellows to be healed by his spirit, would ex- 
hibit an arrogance of pride which to their minds could be pal- 
liated onl}' on the supposition of insanity. 

His family connections do not seem to have been greatly in 
sympathy with Jesus at any time. We know that at a much 
later period his brethren rejected his claims of Messiahship. Of 
course they must have watched his career, and listened to all 
that was said of him by those to whom they had been ac- 
customed to look for right opinions in matters of religion. The 
increased activity of Jesus, the resolute front which he opposed 
to the constituted teachers of his people, the increasing oppo- 
sition which he stirred up, the visible efiect of all this upon 
his own spirit, the loftiness both of carriage and of language 
with which he confronted his opponents, together with liis fre- 
quent retirements and his deep reveries, suggested to his friends 
the notion of insanity. Without doubt this was at first a hinted 
criticism, a shaking of the head and a whispering of one with 

His life must have seemed strange, if they looked upon Jesus 
without faith in his Divine mission, or sympathy with it, and 
applied to him such practical rules as regulated their own con- 
duct. The intensity of his spirit, the apparent restlessness which 
compelled him to go throughout every village and city, " preach- 
ing and showing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God," must 
have seemed unaccountable. Then, his company was extraor- 
dinary. His twelve disciples were now his constant attendants. 

^ — ^ ^ 



But besides these a singular band of women went with him, 
and largely provided for his support. First mentioned is Mary 
Magdalene, who, wdiatever doubts may rest upon her history 
or the origin of her name, clung to Jesus with a fidelity that 
could not be surpassed, an affection which seems to have grown 
more earnest and fearless with danger, and which, during his 
crucifixion and after his burial, places her even before his own 
mother in intensity of self-devotion. Chusa, the wife of Herod's 
steward, was another; and Susanna, whose name only remains 
to us, was also conspicuous. But it is said by Luke that there 
were " many others." He also states that " they ministered to 
him of their substance." This w^as an extraordinary procession 
for a teacher to make. His kindred felt that they had a right 
to interfere, and it was not long before they had the oppor- 
tunity. Indeed, there seem to have been two separate efforts 
to withdraw him to the privacy of his home, — or, rather, two 
stages of the one search and attempted interference. On one 
occasion the enthusiasm of the people rose to an imcontrolhdde 
height. Jesus appears to have been utterly swallowed up by 
the crowd. He and his disciples " could not so much as eat 
bread." Then it was that his friends, when they heard of it, 
" went out to lay hands upon him ; for they said. He is beside 

But the work went on. The Pharisees beheld his sxrowin"; 
powder wdth the people, especially after his mastery of a case 
of demoniacal possession of a peculiarly malignant and obstinate 
character. The easy restoration of the victim filled the multi- 
tude, even though they had almost grown familiar with his 
miracles of mercy, with wonder and amazement. They cried 
out in spontaneous enthusiasm, "Is not this the son of David? " 
By that title was the long-desired Messiah familiarly known. 
This homage of the people stirred the Scribes. Taking hint 
from the impression of his friends that he was insane, they 
added to the charge that it was an insanity of demoniacal 
possession ! That he cast out demons could not be denied ; 
but they said that did not argue his Divinity, for he was him- 
self a dupe or an accomplice, working under the power con- 
ferred by Satan ; in short, a magician, a necromancer, one who 
had made a league with the devil ! 


The emissaries from Jerusalem and their confederates in Gal- 
ilee were blind to all the excellences of Jesus. If he was to 
thrive outside of their party, and raise up an influence antago- 
nistic to it, then, the better he was, the more dangerous to them. 
IIow unscrupulous and malignant their conversation became is 
revealed hy the epithets employed : he was a drunkard ; he was 
a glutton ; he was a companion of knaves and courtesans ; he 
was a sabbath-breaker, a blasphemer, a charlatan, a necroman- 
cer, an unclean fellow. (Mark iii. 30.) His power could not 
be gainsaid ; but its moral significance might be blurred, nay, 
it might be made to witness against him, if they could per- 
suade the people that the devil sent him among them, and 
that under the guise of kindness he was really weaving infer- 
nal snares for their easy credulity! 

The reply of Jesus to this last aspersion was conclusive, if 
judged from their point of view. "You believe that Satan 
is carrying forward his work by me. Would he begin, then, by 
actino; ao-ainst himself? Will Beelzebub cast out Beelzebub ? 
Satan fight Satan ? Is not this a house divided against itself, 
and sure to fall? But wdiy charge me with acting from infer- 
nal power, when you believe that evil spirits are cast out by 
your own disciples and b}' lawful methods ? When youv pupils 
employ the exorcisms which you 'prescribe, and men are re- 
lieved, do you admit that it w'as the devil that wrought Avith 
them ? On the contrary, you believe it to be a Divine power 
that helps your children. Their example condemns your argu- 
ments against me." 

If the carefulness of the Lord's reply seems strange, it is only 
because the exceeding gravity and dangerousness of this attack 
upon him is not appreciated. Beelzebub was a heathen god, 
and to charge Jesus with acting as his emissary -was to suggest 
the most insidious form of idolatry. To the common people 
Jesus w\as the very model of a Jew. He revived and repre- 
sented the heroic national character. His whole career appealed 
to the patriotic element. His use of their Scriptures, his teach- 
ing in their synagogues, his conformity to all Jewish rites and 
usages in worship, the historical basis of his teachings, and the 
very attempt to bring back the old Jewish life by reforming 
the abuses of the school of the Pharisee, all gave to him a high 

cfl — Q] 


repute with the common people as a representative national 
man with the stamp of the old prophets. 

If his enemies could destroy this impression, and excite a 
suspicion that, after all, he was in sympathy with foreign nations 
and was really an emissary of an idolatrous system, they would 
easily destroy his influence. For on no other point was the 
Jewish mind so inflammable as against idolatrous foreign influ- 
ences. Beelzebub was the chief of foreign heathen deities. 
To charge Jesus with acting under his inspiration was an appeal 
to the national fanaticism. The vigor of Christ's reply mani- 
fests his sense of the danger of such an imputation, and 
explains also the solemn and judicial severity with which he 
immediately turned upon his assailants. For the lines were 
drawn. All hope of accommodation was past. Between him 
and the Pharisees the gulf had been opened that could never be 
closed. Hitherto he had entered into controversy with them 
as a Rabbi would dispute with any one in his school who dis- 
sented from his teaching. In his Sermon on the Mount he 
had clearly taken ground against the whole ethics and religious 
philosophy of this school. But now the hour had come when 
he distinctly assailed them as a corrupt party. There could 
be no more friendliness between them. No one could be on 
both sides, or be iudifTerent. All must choose. Pointintr to his 
antagonists, he declared, " He that is not with me is against me. 
He that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad." He now 
asserts his Divinity as he had never done before, not by assum- 
ing to himself Divine titles, but by identifying tlieir resistance 
to him as a direct and conscious resistance to the Holy Ghost. 

The scene at this point is extraordinary. Jesus had hitherto 
stood upon the defensive. . But there was something in the 
spirit of his antagonists which roused in him the latent royalty 
to a most august disclosure. He no longer explains or defends. 
He brings home to the conspiring Pharisees the terrible charge 
of blasphemy. He expressly excludes the idea that this was 
done simply because they had opposed him. Whosoever spcalc- 
eth a ivord against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him. Jesus 
accepted his place among men, and did not demand any ex- 
emption from the criticisms and arguments with which men 
contested all the philosophies or religious teachings of the 



tB- ^ 


Rabbis. He did not hold his antagonists guilty because they had 
opposed his claims or his doctrines. It was their own highest 
nature, in its state of Divine illumination, that they had delib- 
erately violated. His works and his expositions liad not failed ; 
there was among these men an hour of full conviction that this 
work and this doctrine Avas of God. But pride and malign self- 
ishness rose up against the light. For the sake of sinister inter- 
ests, they dishonored the noblest intuitions of their souls. 

There are hours in which men are lifted out of the dominion 
of sensuous fact, and come up into the full blaze of spiritual 
truths. They are consciously in the very presence of God. 
The Divine influence is so personal and pervasive, that in their 
own consciousness they think, feel, and will, as it were, face to 
face with God. These are the hours of the soul's sovereignty, 
and its choices are final, since they are made when every ad- 
vantage is concentrated upon them. If they are right, they are 
eternally right ; if wrong, they are wrong forever. 

In such a supreme mood the Pharisees had not only dishon- 
ored their own luminous convictions of the truth, but, trans- 
ported with the anger of mortified vanity, had poured contempt 
and ridicule upon them. The sentence of Mark is very signifi- 
cant, — "Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit." What 
unclean spirit was meant, is shown by Matthew : "This fellow 
doth not cast out devils but by Beelzebub." Beelzebub was to 
the Jews the heathen god of nastiness, god of the diuighill, of 
universal excrement ! ^ The vulgarity of the abuse must be left 
to the imao-ination. 


' See Smith's Dihle Dictionary (American edition, Hurd and Houghton), Art. " Beel- 

Moreover, on this point Pro'essor Conant writes : " To the heathen themselves Beel- 
zebub was not the 'god of nasiiness,' but a very respectable sort of a divinity, with an 
honorable vocation, according to their notions. 

^^ Beelzebub {3-)DT S;'3), with final h, occurs onlj- once, in 2 Kings i. 2, as a god of 
the Philistines at Ekron, to whom Ahaziah sent messengers to inquire whether he ,-hould 
recover from his disease. lie was then, it seems, a god of good repute even in Israel. 

'' From the etymology, Gesenius explains the name as ^flij-Raal, fly-destroyer, like 
the Zfi)? 'ATTo/iutos of Elis, .... and the Mi/iogrus deus of the Romans.' Fiirst, under 
3-O.r, compares the 'epithets of Hercules, Ittoktovos (vermin-killer) and Kopi/oniuv (locust- 

" The Jews, with their propensity to sarcastic punning, pronounced the name BeeJzebul 
(7;?T "^r!l), 'god of the dungliill,' dunghill-god. 

" There can be no reasonable doubt that the view you give in the text is the true one." 


a— ^ a 


Affairs had reached a crisis. It is well, therefore, at this point, 
to look somewhat closely into the precise relations subsisting 
between the party of the Temple, the common jieople, and 

The Scribes and Pharisees were neither better nor worse than 
men usually are who hold power in their hands, and are deter- 
mined, at all hazards, to maintain it. If Jesus could have been 
made to work under their general direction, and so to contribute 
to the stability of the Temple influence, they would have suf- 
fered him to utter almost any sentiment, and to execute rig- 
orous popular reformations. Every word and every act was 
scrutinized from one point of view, — its relations to the influ- 
ence of the dominant school. 

In the progressive conflict with Jesus, which ended w^th his 
death, the Scribes acted within the familiar sphere of ordinary 
political immorality. They were not monsters, but simply un- 
scrupulous politicians. At first they contented themselves with 
observing Jesus, and would evidently have been willing to con- 
ciliate, had a chance been given them. They then followed 
him, watching for some mistake which would bring down on 
him the grasp of a jealous foreign government. This was by 
far the most politic method of dealing with him. A dangerous 
man would thus be removed by an odious foreign despotism, 
without prejudice to the Jewish rulers. But Jesus was fully 
conscious of this j^eril. So cautious was he in discourse, that 
from the records of his teaching one would scarcely know that 
there was an intrusive government in Palestine. He used his 
authority to keep down popular excitement ; and when the en- 
thusiasm could not be controlled, he frequently withdrew from 
sight, and sometimes hid himself absolutel}'. The wisdom of 
his course was justified. The Roman officials, after a while, seem 
to have dismissed his movements from their thouo-hts ; and even 
at the crisis of his death they appear to have cared but little 
for the matter, and to have been pushed on by the resolute 
fury of the Jewish leaders. 

If the Temple party could not check the career of Jesus by 
direct political interference, the next obvious step of policy 
would be to embroil him with his own countrj^men. This Avould 
seem not difficult. The Jewish people were inordinately sen- 

^ ^ 



sitive to sectarian and national prejudices. It seemed likely 
that a bold reformer like Jesus would first or last strike some 
blow that Avould rouse up the whole wrath of a bigoted people, 
and that he would be sacrificed in some popular tumult. This 
line of policy was skilfidly followed by them. It was not wise 
to shock the enthusiasm of the people, or to stand cold and 
unmoved amid so much popular feeling. It was better to go 
Avith the crowd as friends, but as conservative friends. They 
listened, but in a gentle and respectful way sought to entangle 
him in his teachings. The ill success of this course little by 
little increased their zeal. But they were politic. They could 
not break with Jesus so long as the mass of the people were 
with him. They therefore still maintained outward amicable 
relations, but watched and waited, whispering, suggesting, criti- 
cising ; — yet all in vain. The current would not be turned by 
these puffs of wind that ran across its surface. 

Jesus seems to have been perfectly aware of all this, and 
of the dangers which threatened. His tranquil avoidance of 
their snares disclosed how skilful may be the highest moral 
endowments. It was difficult to oppose the whole religious 
teaching of his times without appearing to set aside the Jew- 
ish faith, and bringing upon himself the charge of infidelit}', — 
always a facile and effective weapon. It was difficult to resist 
the authority of the representative men of his nation, without 
violating the fanatical sense of patriotism among the people. 
The consciousness of such peril would render a weak nature 
cautious, would limit his sphere of remark, and enfeeble his 
criticisms of evil. Nothino; is more strikino; than the attitude 
of Jesus in the face of this danger. His teachings did not flag. 
His Avords became more powerful. The sphere of topics every 
day enlarged. Like a skilful surgeon, confident of his hand, he 
plunged the probe down, amid nerves and arteries, with un- 
fiiiling and unsparing fidelity. At times his adversaries could 
not forbear admiration of his tact and skill. He never struck 
wrong, nor ever missed a stroke. They beheld him every day 
less in peril of the court, less likely to lose his hold upon the 
common people, and more clearly endangering their own " name 
and place." 

It was at this point of affairs that the cry was first heard, Is 

^- ^ 



not this the son of David f B}^ that phrase was meant Messiah- 
shijD ! The spark had fallen. The fire was kmdlecl. The Scribes 
seemed thrown off their guard by the extremity of danger. 
Then it was, as we have seen, that they blindly charged him 
with being a minion of infernal influences, the evil victim of 
a foreign god of filthy and detestable attributes. And it was 
to this open declaration of war that Jesus opposed as openly 
the terrific denunciations which consigned them to a doom not 
to be reversed in this world nor in the world to come. 

The Scribes at once saw their blunder. They had not car- 
ried the people with them. They had aroused in Jesus a spirit 
of sovereignty before which they quailed. They had thrown 
the javelin, but it had missed, and they stood disarmed. 

They then attempted to recover their position. It is quite 
likely that the Scribes, who had led the onset, gave place to 
others, who put on a ftice of kindness as a mask to their real 
feelings. They came to him with an affectation of reasonable- 
ness and of devotion : — Master, we wish that we might only 
see a sign from thee. He was not to be deceived by this sudden 
complaisance. With even increasing elevation of spirit and of 
manner he denounced them as an "evil and adulterous gener- 
ation." No sign should be wrought for their purposes. But 
a sign they should have. What Jonah Avas to Nineveh, that 
should the Son of Man be to Jerusalem. So far from soften- 
ing his Avords or abating his authority he takes a bolder step, 
and declares himself superior to Jonah, an eminent prophet, and 
to Solomon, the most renowned philosopher and the most bril- 
liant kino; of the Hebrew race. That such arrou-ation of rank 
did not offend the people is a testimony to the hold which 
Jesus had gained upon their veneration. 

This plausible attempt of the Pharisees to return to amicable 
relations with him did not for a moment impose upon Jesus. 
He signified his judgment of the value of their mood by a 
parable, Avhich, however, did not expend its force upon them, 
but, after the method of the prophecies, had a kind of moral 
ricochet and struck successive periods. Their pretended reforma- 
tions were but a -getting ready for renewed wickedness. 

When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he ivalkcth through 
dry places, sceJcing rest, and findeih none. Then he saiih, I ivill return 





Mo my Jioiisc from zvhence I came out ; and when he is come, he findcih 
it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himsetf 
seven other spirits more tvic/ced than himself, and they enter in and 
dwell there : and the last state of that man is ivorse than the first. Even 
so shcdl it be also unto this ivicked generation. 

In his adversaries, the discourses of Jesus produced anger, 
and at times rage. The people generally felt admiration and 
enthusiasm for them, some being capable of appreciating their 
spiritual excellence and entering profoundly into sympathy with 
him. Thus, while he was unfolding the truth, a woman in the 
crowd, quite borne away by the admirableness of his teaching, 
cried out with a true mother's feeling, " Blessed is the womb 
that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked ! " This 
was the very pride of motherhood breaking into rapture of wor- 
ship. It is not likely that she knew Mary. There certainly 
is no unconscious blessing pronounced upon the Virgin Mother ; 
it was upon Christ that her heart rested. She struck an un- 
imao-ined chord in the heart of Jesus. There is sadness in his 
reply, Yea, rather, blessed are they that hear the tvord of God, and 
keep it. And reason there was for this sadness. At that very 
moment his mother, with other members of the family, were 
hovering on the outskirts of the excessive crowd, seeking him. 
By Mark (iii. 20, 21, 31-35) we see what her errand w\^s. 
Driven by maternal solicitude, she had become more anxious 
for his personal safety than for the development of the king- 
dom of heaven. Her love for him as her own son was stronger 
than her love for him as the Son of God. She might not have 
believed that he was "beside himself"; she might naturally have 
felt that by excessive zeal he was putting his life in peril. Fol- 
lowing in the wake of the crowd, she would gather up into her 
anxious heart all the angry speeches and significant threats 
of his enemies. Why should we imagine that Mary was made 
perfect without suffering, without mistakes, without that train- 
ing which every one of the disciples passed through, and with- 
out need of those tender rebukes from the Master which all 
experienced? If even the unflinching and sturdy John faltered, 
can we wonder that a mother should dread the storm which 
she saw gathering around her beloved son ? 

It was while the cry of sympathy from a nameless woman in 


£r— ^ 


the crowd was in his ear, that word was brought to Jesus, 
"Behold thy mother and thy brethren stand Avithout, desiring 
to speak with thee." This is the sequel of that previous state- 
ment, " When his friends (kinsmen) heard of it, they went out 
to lay hold of him ; for they said, He is beside himself." 

Were it not for this history, it would be hard to redeem the 
reply of Jesus to the messenger of his mother from the im- 
putation of severity, bordering on harshness. Who is my mother / 
and who are my brethren ? Is this the language of a child's love, 
in whose ear his mother's name is music ? Is this the honored 
reception, before all the people, which a mother had a right to 
expect from such a son ? 

Then it was that he seems to have drawn himself up and 
looked round upon the crowd with an eye of love veiled by 
sorrow. There must have been something striking in his man- 
ner of speaking, that should lead the Evangelists always to 
describe his personal appearance in that act. They were not 
anatomists, nor close students of details; they mentioned that 
which struck them forcibly. It was not a glance, a flash, but a 
long and piercing gaze : " he looked round al^out on them which 
sat about him " ; and then, stretching forth his hand toward 
his disciples, he said, " Behold my mother and my brethren ! 
Whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, 
the same is my brother, and my sister, and my mother ! " ^ 

While this was unquestionably a rebuke to his mother and 
brethren for want of moral symj)athy with him, it presents an 
admirable illustration of the way in which Jesus looked upon 
all the social relationships of life. As much in domestic as in 
religious matters the exterior is but the veil, the interior is 

' President Woolsey, of Yale College, holds the following language : — 
" However we explain Mary's participation in the design of lier kinsmen, she is in- 
cluded in what is a virtual censure on the part of our Lord. Hij neither goes out to 
meet her and her companions, nor admits them into his presence. He exclaims that his 
nearest of kin are the children of God, and asks, ' Who is my mother and my brethren ?' 
It is thus remarkable that in the only two instances, until the cru'ifixion, where Mary 
fig ires in the Gospel, — the marriage at Cana and the passage before us, — she appears 
in order to be reproved by the Saviour, and to be placed, as for as the mere maternal 
relation is concerned, below obedient servants of God. These passages must be regarded 
as protests laid up in store against the heathenish eminence whiih the Roman Church 
assigns to Mary, and especially against that newly established dogma, of her being with- 
out sin from her birth, which they so signally contradict." — Rdhjion of ihe Present and 
of the Future, p. 46. New York : Charles Scribner & Co. 1871. ! 

^ -W 



the substance and reality. As manhood is not made up by the 
members of the body, but by the soul, so relationship is not 
simply by blood, but by alRnities of character. The household 
-which is grouped around natural parents, with all its blessed- 
ness, does not limit within itself one's real kindred. All that 
are good belong to each other. All, in every nation, who call 
God Father, have a right to call each other brother, sister, 
mother ! Thus around the visible home there extends an in- 
visible household of the heart, and men of faith and aspiration 
are rich in noble relationships. 

This scene between Jesus and his mother was a mere episode 
in the sharp conflict which, under one form and another, was 
going on between Jesus and the emissaries from the Temple, 
together with their confederates in the provinces. But it was 
not all an open conflict. It would seem as if, while some plied 
him with opposition, others tried the arts of kindness, and the 
seductions of hospitality. For these invitations which brought 
him to feasts in the houses of distinguished Pharisees, as the 
whole carriage of Jesus showed, were not always acts of simple 
kindness. No doubt they were inspired to some extent by curi- 
osity, mingled with vanity at having possession of one who was 
stirring the whole community. But they evidently had in them 
also an element of seduction. He might be flattered by atten- 
tions. He might be softened by social blandishments. He might, 
in the confidence of honorable hospitality, be thrown off his 
guard and led to incautious speeches, by which afterwards he 
might be entangled. 

Soon after this interview with his mother, a Pharisee urged 
him to dine. No sooner had they sat down than the latent 
design of this hospitality began to appear. Jesus had neglected 
to wash his hands officially, after the custom of the strict among 
the Jews, and he was at once questioned about it. It seems that 
there was present a large company of lawyers and doctors of 
the law, and that all were sharpened for conflict, and this will 
sufficiently account for the character of the most extraordinary 
after-dinner speech that was ever recorded. Jesus was not for 
a moment deceived by their pretensions and formal courtesies. 
He knew what their politeness meant. He replied to the inward 
reality, and not to the outward seeming. It was a fearful 



analysis and exposure of the hollow-heartedness of the men 
who were seeking his downfall. 

The manner of this speech seems to have been thus : One 
after another Avould question him, and upon his replies still 
other criticisms would be made, followed again by taunts and 
contemptuous questions. Luke gives us an insight into the 
method and spirit of this remarkable dialogue : " As he said 
these things unto them, the Scribes and the Pharisees began to 
urge him vehemently, and to provoke him to speak of many 
things ; laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something 
out of his mouth, that they might accuse him." The speech as 
given in the text may be regarded as a condensed record of 
the substance of his replies, the interpolated questions and dis- 
putatious passages being left out. It is this interlocutory char- 
acter of the Lord's discourses, both here and elsewhere, that 
must supply us with a clew to the succession of topics, which 
otherwise will seem forced. 

And the Lord said xinto him, Nb?v do ye Pharisees make clean the 
outside of the cup and the platter ; but your inward part is full of 
ravening and ivicJcedness. Ye fools^ did not he that made that u'hich 
is tvithout make tJiat tvhich 'is tvithin also ? But rather give alms of 
such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean iinio you. 
But tvoe unto you, Pharisees I for ye tithe mint and rue and all 
manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God : these 
ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Woe unto 
you, Pharisees ! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and 
greetings in the markets. Woe unto you. Scribes and Pharisees, hypo- 
crites ! for ye are as graves tvhich appear not, and the men that zvalk 
over them are not aware of them. Then anstvered one of the lawyers, 
and said unto him. Master, thus saying thou reproachest us also. And 
he said, Wee unto you also, ye latvyers ! for ye lade men with burdens 
gnevous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens tvith one 
of your fingers. Woe unto you ! for ye build the sepidchres of the 
prophets, and your fathers killed them. Truly ye bear tvitness that ye 
alloto the deeds of your fathers : for they indeed killed them, and ye build 
their sepidchres. Therefore also said the tvisdom of God, I uill send 
them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and perse- 
cute : that the blood of all the prophets, which teas shed from the foun- 
dation of the tvorld, may be reqidred of this generation, from the blood 

^ ^ ^ 

^ ' 


of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished heztveen the altar 
and the temple : verily I say unto yon, It shall be required of this 
generation. Woe wito you, laivyers ! for ye have taken atvay the key 
of hiowledge : ye entered not in yourselves, and them that ivere entering 
in ye hindered. 

The kindled flame was to be nourished by new fuel every 
day. The courage and boldness of Jesus were equalled only 
by the bitterness and cunning of the Scribes. He knew the 
issue. "I am come to send fire on the earth, and what will I, 
if it be already kindled?" 

\S^ -Q2 



THE discourses of Jesus grew deeper and richer from the 
beginning of his ministry to the end. But the transitions 
Avere never formal or abrupt. Nor can we anywhere lay our 
finger upon a precise moment or occasion when the deepening 
or widening took place. His teaching was like the flow of a 
river, whose depth and breadth continually increase, but no- 
where suddenl}^ From the first he had preached the Jnnf/dom of 
heaven, but at this time he seems to have made that theme the 
special subject of discourse. Indeed, just before he sent out 
his twelve disciples to teach, there was a crisis in his ministry 
and a change in his style which proceeded from profound rea- 
sons that deserve careful consideration. 

Whatever spiritual benefit had been derived by single persons 
from his ministry, it was plain that in general his teaching had 
fjxllen only upon the outward ear, and that his beneficent works 
had stirred up the worldly side of men more than the spirit- 
ual. They were glad to have their sicknesses healed, to know 
that the kingdom of heaven (interpreted according to Jewish 
expectations) was advancing. His family friends were ph'ing 
him with prudential considerations. His adversaries were organ- 
izing a powerful, though as yet cautious and crafty, opposition. 
He stood in an excited circle of worldly men ; and whether they 
were for him or against him, they were for the most part seek- 
ing a material and secular interest. It was important that he 
should, if possible, break through this carnal view, and kindle 
in their minds some idea of that spiritual kingdom which he 
sought to establish. 

On no other subject did he concentrate so many parables as 
upon this. Eight of them in succession, and apparently at 
about the same time, evince his earnestness, and his estimate 

^ ^ 

^ a 


of the importance of the topic. The Sower, the Tares, the 
Growth of Seed, the Grain of Mustard-seed, the Leaven, the 
Treasure-field, the Pearl, the Net, — each one of these ex- 
pounded some view of his kingdom. In reading them, one is 
struck with the wholly spiritual and unworldly character of that 
kino-dom. There is no intimation of a society or of organiza- 


These parables are evidently the fragments of discourse. The 
disciples remembered and recorded them as brief and striking 
pictures; but it is not likely that Jesus put them forth one 
after the other, without any filling up or exposition. We know, 
in regard to some, that they were parts of interlocutory dis- 
course, and that they gave rise to questions and to answers. 
It is highly probable that all of them were preceded and fol- 
lowed by expository matter, on which the parables were wrought 
like the figures upon lace. The sudden addiction of Christ to 
parables is°the sign of a serious change in his relations to that 
part of the people who were now secretly banding together in 
opposition to his influence. We have already seen the feeling 
which this conduct produced in his bosom. Although his per- 
sonal relations were apparently not affected, and he moved 
among the Pharisees as he had always done, he regarded por- 
tions "of them as being so dangerous that it was prudent to 
forestall their efforts to catch something out of his moidh, that they 

might accuse him. 

A parable — or a moral truth thrown into the form of an 
imaginary history, a germ drama — was peculiarly fitted for 
the "double office which in his hands it had to perform. It was 
an instructive form of speech, addressing the imagination, and 
clinging tenaciously to the memory. It was admirably suited 
to the intelligence of the common people. It had also this ad- 
vantage, that throughout the East it Avas a familiar style of 
instruction, and the people were both used to it and fond of 
it. On the other hand, its polemic advantages were eminent. 
By parables Jesus could advance his views with the utmost 
boldness, and yet give to his enemies but little chance of per- 
verting his words. It was necessary to baffle tneir devices, 
without restricting the scope of his teaching or abating his 

C^-. . bf- 



We have already glanced at the methods by which the Scribes 
sought an end to this reformer, as soon as they became satisfied 
that he could not be used as a tool for their own advantage. 
The topic will bear unfolding still further. They first attempted 
to excite against him the fears of the government, and to 
cause his arrest as one politically dangerous. This would seem 
beforehand to promise the surest and speediest results. Herod 
was suspicious, jealous of his power, and cruel in vindicating 
it. The great excitement which kindled around Jesus, and 
the excessive throngs which followed him, gave color to im- 
favorable representations. The general conduct of Jesus must 
have been very circumspect. Indeed, we are struck, not only 
with the absence of political topics from his teachings, but with 
the unworldly treatment of common secular duties. 31// kiuf/- 
dom is not of this tvorld was as plainly indicated by the Sermon 
on the Mount as by his final declaration. Politicians were 
shrewd enough to see that Jesus had no purpose of publicly 
or secretly organizing the people. Every political party has 
one or two sensitive tests. If a man is sound or harmless in 
respect to them, he is regarded as safe. In ecclesiastical ad- 
ministration these tests are apt to be doctrinal or ritual. In 
political management they are more likely to relate to prac- 
tical policy. Judged by political tests, it must have seemed to 
disinterested S23ectators that Jesus was simply a very benevolent 
man, with great power of personal fascination, who indulged in 
impracticable dreams of an ideal future ; that he neglected the 
most admirable opportunities for forming a party, and squan- 
dered his influence for lack of organization. The j^eople again 
and again came at his call, but dissolved and sunk away with- 
out bringing to him any advantage. His doctrine passed over 
the surface of society as the shadows of white clouds high up 
in the heavens pass over fields and forests, making transient 
j^ictures, but changing nothing in root, leaf, or fruit. There 
was far less to fear in such a man than in the narrower, but 
more immediately practical, John the Baptist. Besides, it may 
be presumed tliat there were in Herod's household friends of 
Jesus, who had the ear of the king or of his advisers. We 
know that the wife of Herod's steward was a devoted friend 
to the prophet of Galilee. The fate of men and of policies 

^ ^ ^ 


often depends upon the soft whisper, in an hour of leisure, of 
one whom the public neither sees nor knows, whose very obscu- 
rity lends to his influence by disarming jealousy or the fear of 
selfish counsel. 

Political influences failing, the next obvious method of de- 
stroying Jesus would be to embroil him with the people. The 
Pharisees, representing the patriotic feeling of the nation, were 
very popular Avith the masses. The people were apt upon the 
slightest provocation to burst out into uncontrollable fanaticism. 
How easy it would be to sweep away this man of Nazareth in 
some wild outbreak ! But Jesus, a man of the common people, 
living day by day among them, familiar with all their prejudices, 
their thoughts, their wants, and ministering to their necessities 
by almost daily acts of beneficence, could not easily be with- 
drawn from the sympathies of the poor. The crowds of grateful 
creatures that surrounded him might be ignorant of his real 
doctnnes, and take little profit from his spirit ; but they proved 
a stronger barrier between him and his enemies of the syna- 
gogue and the Temple than an imperial army would have been. 
They were unconsciously his body-guard. 

The only other method of putting Jesus out of the way was 
by the exercise of the power of discipline in the hands of the 
Jewish Sanhedrim. But a trial for heresy required material. It 
was not easy to procure it. Jesus was in disagreement with 
the religious leaders of his people, but he was historically in 
accord with Moses and the Proj)hets. He was really more 
orthodox than the Rabbis. 

It was for the sake of bringing him to trial before the relig- 
ious tribunal of his people for some form of error, that he was 
now watched with indefatigable vigilance ; and the change in 
his method of teaching may be attributed greatly to that. For 
a marked change took place in the style of his teaching soon 
after the calling and sending forth of his disciples. In expound- 
ing to them the parable of the Sow^er, as we shall see, Jesus 
expressly gave as a reason for using the jD^i'^bolic form in 
teaching, that it would baffle his enemies. It would convey the 
truth ; and yet, as the vehicle was a fiction, his adversaries 
would be unable to catch him in his words. There is no in- 
stance in which his parables were alleged as an ofience. The 

t^ — : ^ ^ ^ 


Pharisees knew at whom they were aimed; yet so wisely did 
Jesus frame them, that nothing contrary to the law or to 
national customs could be made out of them. 

But the larger use of the parable in his teachings is not the 
only change to be noticed at this period. We shall find an 
impetus to his discourses, an attacking force, which shows that 
he designed to put his adversaries on the defensive. Instead 
of watching him, they found themselves impelled to study their 
own defence. Many came as if conscious of great superiority, 
and as pompous patrons. But they were handled as if they 
were very poorly instructed pupils. 

These considerations of the state of the conflict will not only 
illustrate the general prudence of Jesus's course, but will give 
significance to many incidents which otherwise would lose their 
real bearings. 

It was in the face and under the influence of this crafty 
conspiracy against him that he pronounced the words recorded 
by Luke, which not only informed them exphcitly that he 
divined their plans, but instructed his disciples that both they 
and their master were under the care of a Divine Providence 
which watches over the minutest elements of creation. Con- 
sidered as the utterance of one standing amidst shrewd and 
venomous enemies, this tranquillizing and comforting spirit is 
truly divine. 

" In the mean time, when there w^ere gathered together an 
innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one 
upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all. Be- 
ware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For 
there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed; neither 
hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have 
spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light ; and that which 
ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon 
the house-tops. And I say unto you my friends. Be not afraid 
of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that 
they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear : Fear 
him which, after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell; 
yea, I say unto you, Fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for 
two farthings ? and not one of them is forgotten before God : 
but even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear 


^ : 


not, therefore : ye are of more value than many sparrows. Also 
I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him 
shall the Son of Man also confess before the angels of God : 
but he that clenieth me before men shall be denied before the 
angels of God. And whosoever shall speak a word against the 
Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him ; but unto him tha*t blas- 
phemeth against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven. And 
when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magis- 
trates and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye 
shall answer, or what ye shall say : for the Holy Ghost shall 
teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say." 

An incident occurred about this time which deserves more 
than a passing notice. A young man appealed to Jesus against 
his brother, in the matter of dividing some property that had 
been left to them. "Master, speak to my brother that he 
divide the inheritance with me." One who was smarting under 
a wrong would naturally appeal to a great teacher of morals 
for advice and influence. The reply of Jesus surprises us by an 
apparent severity for which at first we cannot account, — " Man, 
who made me a judge or a divider over you?" But if the 
cunning Scribes had whispered this young man on, hoping to 
induce Jesus through his sympathies to assume judicial func- 
tions and to step into a snare, we can understand that the 
severity of his abrupt refusal was meant more for the Pharisees 
than for their dupe. Yet, though he could not assume the 
authority of courts and distribute property, he could fasten the 
attention upon the most lofty views respecting the ends of life. 
Beware of covetousness : for a man's life consisieth not in the ahun- 
clance of the things tvhich he possesseth. One may be happy in 
riches ; but there is a higher enjoyment than any which wealth 
can bestow. This view was not left as a mere apothegm. 
He framed it into a picture which no one could ever forget. 
For the memory of things received through the imagination is 

In a dozen lines he gives a perfect drama. Avarice, made 
good-natured by prosperity, counsels with itself and fills the 
future with visions of self-indulgence. Then from out the great 
realm above comes a voice pronouncing eternal bankruptcy to 
the presumptuous dreamer! 

tfr,^ ^ — ^ 

rS — — ^ ^ — ^ 


"And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of 
a certain rich man brought forth plentifully : and he thought 
within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room 
where to bestow my fruits ? And he said, This will I do : I will 
pull down my barns, and build greater ; and there will I bestow 
all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, 
thou hast much goods laid up for many years ; take thine ease, 
eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him. Thou fool, 
this night thy soul shall be required of thee : then whose 
shall those things be which thou hast provided ? So is he 
that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward 

This is the contrast that evermore exists, in ten thousand 
forms, between the visible and the invisible. Just beyond in- 
ordinate mirth lie gloom and sadness. Through the tears of 
desponding sorrow rises on the background beyond a tender 
rainbow. When the sun is setting, the human form projects 
a grotesque and monstrous shadow far along the ground ; and so 
character casts forward a shadow into the future, whether fair or 
hideous, in prodigious disproportion to the seeming magnitude 
of the living reality. 

The parables of Jesus, as we find them in the Gospels, are 
like pearls cast into a jewel-case, without order or selection. 
The thread that connected them is lost. But we often find 
an inward congruity between the parable and the events just 
then happening, that creates a probability as to the order. 
Thus the two parables respecting the imminence of death would 
seem naturally to have followed the parable of the rich fool. 
There are two; one in light, the other in shadow. Could any- 
thing be more radiant and original, contrasted with the fright- 
ful pagan ideas of death, or with the dismal ideas of the 
primitive Jewish nations, than the figure of Death as a bride- 
groom returning from wedding festivities to his household ? 
Yet, in exhorting his disciples to be in constant preparation 
for the event of death, Jesus urges them to be vigilant and 
cheerful watchers, " like unto men that wait for their lord, when 
he will return from the wedding." Their lord shall cause them 
to sit down to a banquet, and he himself, in love, shall honor and 
serve them. This watching must run through the series of 

^ -^ 

a- — ^ 


hours, whether he come in the second watch or in the third 
watch. It is to be an all-night fidelity. There is a fine vein 
of poetry in the implication that this life is a night, and death 
the breaking of the morning, the awaking from sleep. But 
the mention of the night watches suggests a new illustration, 
and the parable changes. It is a householder now, secure, 
asleep, dreaming happily. But hovering near is the artful 
thief He steals noiselessly to the window. He enters without 
discovery and despoils the house of treasure in the very face 
of its owner, too flist asleep to know the mischief that is 
going on. When the man awakes and discerns the state of 
things, no doubt he will bestir himself But too late ! The 
thief is gone, and with him the goods ! ^ 

Peter now interposes a question as to whether the parables 
referred to the disciples only, or also to the Avhole multitude. 
The reply is not recorded ; but the new parable which followed 
it indicates the nature of the reply, — that he was speaking 
to all alike. In a few words Jesus depicts the interior of 
some princely household ; the master is absent, and not soon 
expected home ; the fliithless steward, assuming airs of supe- 
riority, betakes himself to inordinate festivities, and in his 
drunken revelling plays the petty tyrant, abusing the servants 
with words and blows. In the midst of the shameful debauch, 
the master suddenly appears. In an instant all is changed. 
The unfaithful servant is convicted, dispossessed, and cast forth. 
There could be no doubt in Peter's mind whether he spoke 
'* to all " or not. By such a picture, the materials of which 
were too abundant in that age and country, Jesus would fix in 
the memory of a curious crowd, subject to evanescent excite- 
ments, the great danger of giving way to their passions in this 
life without regard to that great After-Life, which, though si- 
lent, is certain and near at hand, and whose happiness depends 
upon the results of the moral education evolved in this visible 

The picture was not only likely to abide in the memory, 
teaching its own lesson, but it was made to carry with it cer- 
tain short sentences, whose truths lie at the foundation of 
responsible moral government. The servant that knew his lord's 

' Lukexii. 35-40. 

[Br- ^ ^ 


will, and did it not, shall be beaten with many stripes ; but he 
that knew not, with few stripes. The severity of punishment is 
to be graded by the deliberation with which the law of duty 
is broken. Under a government of physical laws, the motive 
of the transgressor has no influence upon the penalty. The 
ignorant and the intelligent, those who disobey willfully and 
those who do it unknowingly, suffer alike. But under a moral 
government the penalty is graded according to the deliber- 
ation and wilfulness with which disobedience takes place. The 
very essence of moral government consists in its administration, 
not by an implacable law, but by an intelligent ruler, who can 
shape rewards and penalties to the moral character of a subject's 
conduct. It is plain that Jesus was speaking of the future life, 
and of the effect of men's conduct here upon their condition 
hereafter. Indeed, Ave shall presently see that in this respect 
he stood in extraordinary contrast to the great teachers of the 
Old Testament dispensation, who, whatever may have been 
their private hopes, never derived motives or sanctions from 
the great truth of an after life, but wholly from the relations 
of conduct to this present existence. Jesus, on the contrary, 
scarcely noticing the effect of human actions on men's secular 
welfare, almost invariably points to the future world as the 
sphere in which the nature and consequences of men's actions 
will be disclosed. 

The doctrine of immortality in a world to come has not in 
the teachings of Jesus the appearance of a fresh philosophical 
theory or of a new truth, kindling in him a constant surprise 
and intensity. It seems rather like unconscious knowledge. 
He speaks of the great invisible world as if it had always lain 
before him, and as familiarly as to us stretches out the land- 
scape which we have seen since our birth. The assertion of a 
future state is scarcely to be met with in his teachings : the 
assumption of it pervades them. 

This familiarity with another world, and the calm sense of 
its transcendent value over this life, must be kept in mind if we 
would fully appreciate his instructions. Men seemed to him as 
laborious triflers, toiling for perishable things, and indifferent to 
thino^s momentous and eternal. That silent contrast between 
the spiritual sphere and the world of matter seems never to have 





been absent from his mind. Out of this atmosphere came para- 
ble, criticism, judgment, and rebuke, and their force and spirit 
cannot be understood unless we enter fully into this concep- 

To one before whom dwelt the eternal calm and joy of a 
hifj-her life, how foolish must have seemed the frivolous zeal, 
the intense absorption in trifles, the thoroughly sensuous life, 
of the Pharisees ! Their sacred heats were like a rash upon 
the skin. They thought themselves superlatively wise. They 
prided themselves upon their tact in managing men, their sa- 
gacity in planning and skill in executing their petty schemes 
of party and personal ambition. And yet in their very midst 
stood the greatest person that had ever appeared on earth, 
teaching sublime wisdom, almost unheard ; and the Pharisees 
could see nothing in him but a dangerous zealot ! " Ye can 
discern the face of the sky," said Jesus to them, " and of the 
earth, but how is it that ye do not discern this time? Why 
even of yourselves do ye not judge what is right ? " They 
were going on blindly to eternity, there to meet an unlooked- 
for doom. Jesus likened them to debtors in the hands of a 
rigorous creditor : When thou goest iviih thine adversari/ to the mag- 
istrate, as thou art in the tvag, give diligence that thou magest he 
delivered from him ; lest he hale thee to the judge, and the judge 
deliver thee to the officer, and the officer cast thee into prison. I tell 
thee, thou shall not depart thence till thou hast paid the very last 

And yet there was hope even for Pharisees. God was waiting 
w^ith long patience, and bringing to bear upon them the most 
extraordinary moral influences. For a little time this would 
continue. Then w^ould come the irremediable end. All this 
he set forth in the parable of the fig-tree : — He spake also this 
parallel A certain man had a fig-tree jjlanted in his vinegar d ; and 
he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto 
the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeJcing 
fruit on this fig-tree, and find none : cut it down ; tvhy cumhereth it 
the ground? And he ansu'cring said unto him. Lord, let it cdone this 
year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it : and if it hear fridt, 
ivell: and if not, then after that thou shall cut it doim. 

While he was thus teaching, some one from the crowd — 






with that famiUarity which strikingly reveals the footing on 
which Jesus stood with the people, and which led them to 

bring to his notice the news, the 
rumors, and the questions of the 
day, that they might hear what 
he had to say — told him of 
the slaughter by Herod, in the 
Temple at Jerusalem, of certain 
people of his own province of 

It is probable that this was 
one of those minor insurrections 
which were continually taking 
place among the Jews, one which 
was not of sufficient importance 
to be noticed in any history. 
The informants of Jesus appear 
to have thought that the cruel 
death of these men indicated 
their great sinfulness. No. The 
providential dealings of God with 
men do not proceed upon grounds 
of moral desert. He maketh the 
sun to rise and the rain to fall 
upon the good and bad alike. 
There were present at ihat season some that told him of the Galileans, 
whose blood Pilate had mingled unth their sacrifices. And Jesus answer- 
ing said nnto them, Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above 
all the Galileans, because tliey suffered such things? I tell you. Nay: 
but, except ye repent, ye shall cdl liJmvise perish. Or those eighteen, 
upon whom the toiver in Siloam fell, and sletv them, thinJc ye that they 
were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem ? I tell you. Nay : 
but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise pensh. 

By this declaration Jesus put himself in direct antagonism to 
the philosophy of his nation, and to the belief which had pre- 
vailed through the whole period of the Old Testament dispen- 
sation. The old Hebrew approached very near to the modern 
doctrine of material laws ; only, he attributed directly to the 
Divine will the effects which we refer to "natural laws." But 




— ^ 


he believed, with the modem, that good or evil results from 
obedience or disobedience. By a natural inference he supposed 
that one upon whom a great evil came was suffering the pun- 
ishment of sin. Although the doctrine of a future life and of 
rewards and punishments after death was already familiar to 
the Jewish mind, yet the old notion that misfortune is an evi- 
dence of criminality had not been weeded out, and Jesus 
plainly told them that those who had been slain by Herod, and 
those crushed by the falling tower in Siloam, were not sinful 
more than others. God's judgments are spiritual, and they 
overhang all men alike who continue in worldly and selfish 

In the incessant conflict of opinion that now attended Jesus, 
he was obliged to assume a vigorous defence, or to make pun- 
gent criticism. To easy and indolent natures, that do not so 
much love peace as dislike laborious exertion, it is more than 
likely that Jesus seemed an unnecessary disturber. Why is it 
needful, they would say, to dispute with the authorities of the 
synagogue ? Of what use will be so much reprehension ? Is 
the Messiah's kingdom to be advanced by such intestine tur- 
moil and conflict? Is not the coming Prince to be meek and 
gentle among his own people, and terrible only to the hea- 
then ? And his kingdom, is it not to bring peace? Human 
nature must have undergone a great change since then, if 
many of his auditors did not suggest to him such consider- 

But far different was the Messiah's kingdom ! It was to have 
no external form and no national history. No one could see it 
coming, as he could view the advance of an army, or witness 
the development and growth of a secular nation. When men 
should have their passions in perfect control, when benevo- 
lence should have expelled selfishness, when purity and truth 
should pervade society where deceit and vulgar appetite held 
sway, then the kingdom of the Messiah would dawn. But how 
long and severe a struggle ! The corruption of human nature 
would not be purged out without pain. There doubtless rose 
before the mind of Jesus those ages of conflict through which 
Christian civilization has sought to expel the animal passions 
from the control of human society. Suppose ye, he cried, that 


^ — _ g^ 


I am come to give peace on earth ? I tell you nay, but rather 
division ! And it shall not be simj^ly a division created by self- ■ 
ishness, or the collisions of self-will and pride. Conscience also 
shall disturb men. Renewed and exalted sensibilities shall make 
the selfish wa^s of life seem hateful, and a zeal for purity and 
goodness shall burn as a fire. My kingdom shall separate clos- 
est friends. It shall divide the household. The father shall be 
divided against the son, and the son against the father ; the 
mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the 

We must not imagine all these things as said on a single 
occasion, or before the same audience. The record is but an 
epitome of the labors of days and weeks, — in Capernaum, by 
the sea-shore, in the fields, along the wayside, in towns and 
villages. The sun rose and set between many of the lines of 
the record. Between verse and verse miracles were performed. 
Much that was said and done is left out. Jesus was more active 
than appears on the face of the Gospel narratives; rich as they 
are in his words, he was far more fruitful than they rejDresent. 
John, with the first three Gospels before him, closes his own 
history of the life of Jesus with a declaration whose extrava- 
gance fitly attests his sense of the fruitfulness of Jesus's life. 
And there are also many other things ivhich Jesus did, the tvhich, if 
they should he irritteu every one, I suppose that even the world itself 
could not contain the hooks that should he tvritten. 

The period of which we are now treating was the very height 
of the Lord's activity, and we may easil}^ imagine that the un- 
recorded part of his labors far exceeded those portions which 
were afterwards written down. Jesus did not live all the time 
in the excitement of the throng. At noonday he retired from 
the open air to the shelter of his Capernaum house. When 
the heat diminished, and the shadows began to fall upon the 
lake, "Avent Jesus out of the house and sat by the seaside." 
The Sea of Galilee would hardly have been heard of had it 
depended for flnne upon its scenery alone. A hundred lakes 
surpass it in picturesque beauty. But no other lake on earth 
fires the imagination and fills the heart with such emotion as 
this strip of water a little over twelve miles long, and in its 
widest part not (juite seven broad. Although it is between six 



and seven hiindred feet below the level of the Mediterranean 
Sea, the descent to it is not precipitous, and at but few points is 
the shore line steep, or overhung with cliffs of any considerable 
height. The west shore, especially, is bounded by slopes of 
rounded hills, and in some places edged with small plains, — 
notably the little plain of Genesareth, whose fertility and beauty 
seem to have e:5icited the enthusiasm of Josephus. 

The puljlic life of Jesus may be said to have had its centre 
and chief development around the Sea of Galilee. Nothing can 
excel or equal in intensity of interest the few closing weeks of 
his life in Jerusalem; but, these apart, the Sea of Galilee wit- 
nessed the chief part of his ministrations. This he was himself 
conscious of He taught everywhere, through Upper and Lower 
Galilee ; but ouly against the cities on the shores of the lake 
did he utter maledictions for their obduracy. Upon them he 
had bestowed a loug-continued and fruitful activity without a 
parallel. But little of his time seems to have been given to the 
southern portions of the lake-shore population. He dwelt upon 
the northern border, and the most memorable events of his 
Galilean ministry took place at the upper end of the lake ; 
and with a few striking exceptions, such as the feeding of the 
multitude and the casting out of deuions from the man of the 
tombs, his deeds and teachings belong chiefly to the northwest 

It was but a short distance from Capernaum to the plain of 
Genesareth. Part of the beach is made up of fragments of 
basalt, but in many places it is composed of fine white sand, 
pebbles, and shells. Without doubt it was fxr more pleasant for 
passage in that day, when the commerce of a swarming popu- 
lation requii'cd such a roadway as the shore would make, than 
it now is, after the neglect of ages. The traveller then would 
find many a sward of green grass kindled with brilliant flowers. 
It is doubtful if, iu the time of our history, the borders of the 
lake were edged with trees to the degree that we are accus^ 
tomed to see around the lakes in tempei-ate Northern lands. 
But they doubtless flourished to an extent which one could 
hardly imagine who now looks upon the barren hills and shore 
from which vaudal hands have stripped wellnigh every tree. 
There must have been places within easy reach of his house 


in Capernaum where cool rocks were overshadowed by dense 
foliage. Macgregor, who explored the Sea of Galilee in a canoe, 
found near to Bethsaida " great rocks projecting from the shore 
into the waves, while verdure most profuse teems over them, 
and long streamers of ' maiden's-hair,' and richest grasses and 
ferns and briers and moss, wave pendent in the breeze, or trail 
upon the water." Along the shore, in favored spots, grew reeds 
and rushes, and the far-famed papyrus ; the olive, the fig, and 
the palm at that time abounded. Nor can we doubt that oaks, 
walnuts, and terebinths cast down dense and grateful shade on 
many a point along the shore. The thorn-trees, in thickets, 
and luxuriant clumps of oleander, glowing with rosy and pink 
blossoms like a burning bush, added to the charms of the 

The solitary walks of Jesus must often have been along this 
level beach, which, with slight obstructions here and there, ran 
around the whole lake. He must often have seen the morning 
mists rise as the sun advanced, and heard the cry of the fish- 
ermen returning shoreward from their early work. Before his 
eyes rose the high and scarped hills of Bashan on the east of 
the lake. The mouth of the upper Jordan, coming into the lake 
from the north, was but two or three miles distant, probably 
not then green with reeds as in our day, but edged with the 
houses of cities now perished. That Jesus was observant of 
nature, at least when associated with human industry, is shown 
by his parables ; and it is none the less striking because his 
eye discerned the moral uses, rather than the purely cesthet- 
ical relations of things. No one could be conversant with the 
Hebrew prophets, or with the singers of Israel, and be indiffer- 
ent to the aspects of the natural world. The moral suggestions, 
the sublimity and beauty of mountains and hills, of rivers and 
the sea, of trees and vines, of flowers and grass, of clouds and 
storms, of birds and beasts, as they are felt by poetic and de- 
vout natures in our day, were unknown to the people of an- 
tiquity, with the single exception of the Hebrew nation. Jesus 
was truly a Hebrew. He loved solitude, as the great prophets 
always did. He "discerned the face of the sky," and the cloth- 
ing of the hills, and the mystery of the sea, as well as the 
processes of husbandry and the ways of the city. His resort 

^ ^ ^ 



to the shore was not merely for purposes of lonely meditation. 
The sea was the centre of active commerce. All along its shore 
busy towns plied their industry. The fisheries were a source 
of great profit. The surface of the lake was dotted at morn- 
ing and evening with fleets of boats busy in fishing ; others 
darted hither and thither, transporting passengers from side to 
side of the lake. On its peaceful bosom, too, had raged naval 
battles between Roman and Jewish galleys. 

Now the sea is almost deserted. Tiberias yet exists ; but the 
long belt of proud and busy towns that encompassed this in- 
land lake is gone, and men from distant lands grope among 
the thorns or overgrown heaps of stone, disputing the position 
of one and another city which in the daj^s of Jesus seemed 
too strong to be ever wasted. Both around the sea and in all 
the country far away on each side of it, the cities and towns 
have utterly perished. Temples and synagogues are gone. 
Walls of towns and marble palaces are in heaps. The archi- 
tectural ambition of Herod, the city-building aspirations of the 
Greeks, the engineering achievements of the Romans, all alike 
have hopelessly perished. The Lake of Genesareth is without a 
boat. Its fish swarm unmolested. The soil adjacent runs rankly 
to thorns and briers. Only a few Arabs hover about its edges. 
But one thing remains; it is the memory of Jesus. The sky, 
the surrounding hills, and the water have but one story to tell 
the educated traveller. Jesus still wanders slowly along these 
deserted shores. His spirit yet walks upon these waters; and 
the very name of this plain and solitary lake sends a thrill 
through every one who hears it! 

Toward evening, after a day of great labor, Jesus resorted 
to the shore of the lake. The shadows were falling from the 
west, and coolness was coming on with night. Across the lake 
the light was playing on the liills, and kindling them with 
colors rarely seen in any other locality. If Jesus sought soli- 
tude for meditation or the refreshment of a walk, he was dis- 
appointed. Such was the intense interest now felt in all his 
doings that the sight of him gathered a crowd. We have seen 
before how at times the multitude so thronged him that he 
had no leisure so much as to eat, that his family could not by 
any effort press through to his side, and that the people abso- 


[fi-^ — R] 


lutely trod upon one another ; and now so great was the throng 
upon the sea-shore that he took refuge in a boat, and, pushmg 
out a Httle, taught them from this novel seat. If we suppose 
that the boat had been drawn up in some inlet, then the audi- 
ence might line either side, and, from the rise of the ground, 
stand on successive levels, as in a natural amphitheatre ; so that 
the "great multitudes" "come to him out of every city" could 
easily be within speaking distance. We are to remember, also, 
that the region of this lake is famed for the propagation of 
sound. ^ 

As soon as he had gained a favorable position for his floating 
pulpit, he began to instruct the people, who seem never to have 
wearied of hearing his words, and seldom to have obeyed them. 
There was the eager, fickle multitude, rapt in attention, stirred 
to their souls while he was speaking. Yet their consciousness 
moved with his. How beautiful, while he spoke, was the holi- 
ness of the kingdom of God ! How noble to break away from 
evil and rise to the serene moods of virtue ! But how transient 
the impression on their minds! Before the darkness fell upon 
the sea, forgetfulness would descend upon most of his hearers. 
A few would for some days carry a heart of thoughtful purpose ; 
but secular cares would soon change the current, and they would 
relapse into indifterence. Only here and there a single one 
woiUd receive from Jesus the permanent impulse to a higher 
life. This wasting away of moral impressions was the very 
theme of his discourse. Right before his eyes and theirs were 
the materials of the parable which pictured the truth. 

"Hearken: Behold, there went out a sower to sow his seed: 
and it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the wayside, and 
it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air came and devoured 
it up. And some fell on stony ground where it had not much 
earth ; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth 
of earth: but as soon as it was sprung up, when the sun was 
up, it was scorched ; and because it lacked moisture and had no 

* Macgregor, in coasting along the sea in the famed canoe Rob Roy, gives an ac- 
count of a running conversation with an Arab travelling on shore while the Rob Roy was 
paddling at a distance of three hmidred yards from him. " It was very remarkable how 
distinctly every word was heard, even at three hundred yards off"; and it was very easy 
to comprehend how in this clear air a preacher sitting in a boat could easily be heard 
by a vast multitude standing upon the shore." — The Hob Roy on the Jordan, p. 328. 

^ ^ ^ 


root it withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the 
thorns grew up with it, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. 


And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang 
up and increased ; and brought forth, some an hundred-fold, 
some sixty-fold, some tiiirty-fold." 

The grain-fields were not, as in our farming districts, near the 
farmers' dwellings, but remote from them, so that the sower 
indeed " went out " to sow ; there were only paths, narrow and 
often rocky, and no wide roads with fields of soil on either 
side. Patches of thistles and jungles of thorns sprang up in 
spots, and defied extermination ; while the ledges of rock that 
broke through to the surface, or were covered by a mere film 
of soil, furnished another element of this rural picture. 

Although truths illustrated by this parable are of continuous 
efficacy and of universal application in the propagation of moral 
forces among men, yet it is easy to see why Jesus should have 
felt called to announce such truth at that particular time. Bril- 
liant in many respects as his ministry was, what, after all, had 
been gained? The expectation of a new kingdom was not a 
poetic notion among thinking Jews, but a deep and earnest 
faith, and at times an agonizing wish. It was not a matter to 
be trifled with. He who claimed, or allowed his followers to 
believe, that he was the longed-for One, and that the kingdom 
of heaven w\as at hand, touched the heart of the nation to the 
quick. He who excited hopes that verged upon fanaticism must 
not expect to escape, if he did nothing to justify anticipations 
which he had aroused. It is evident that a spirit of impatience 
was springing up. The message of John from his prison is one 
indication of it ; another is the impression of Jesus's own rela- 




tives, that he was an enthusiast, acting without a rational aim. 
The same feeling broke out a little later, when his brethren 
again interfered with him : " Go into Judaea, that thy disciples 
also may see the works that thou doest. For there is no man 
that doeth anything in secret, and he himself seeketh to be 
known openly. If thou do these things" (i. e. if there is no 
deceit in these miracles, and they are what they seem to be), 
" show thyself to the world." (John vii. 3, 4.) 

That a feeling of secret and growing dissatisfaction existed, 
there can hardly be a doubt. Nor are we to leave out of con- 
sideration the working of another thing, the failure of Jesus 
to convince or win the educated and religious portion of the 
community. It would be said, and felt far more often than said, 
" This man has the art of stirring up the ignorant crowd ; but 
what does it all amount to ? They gather to-day, and are gone 
to-morrow. He comes down on the people like a gust of wind 
upon yonder sea. The waves roll, the wdiole sea is alive ; but 
in an hour the wind is down, and the lake is just as it was 
before. It is only a momentary excitement among ignorant 
men. He makes no head with those who are intelligent. Why 
don't he convince those whose business it is to study the 
truth ? " 

To meet this mood, Jesus expounds in the parable of the sow- 
er the nature of moral teaching. Immediate results are no test 
of the reality of the truth. The new kingdom is to come by 
growth, and not by miracle. Truth, like seed, is to be sown, sub- 
ject to all the conditions of human nature. The worldly cares, 
the sordid passions, have, as it were, beaten hard paths along the 
life of men. The Divine truth falls upon these ways of self- 
ishness, or of avarice, or of hatred ; but there is nothing in 
them to grasp it. It lies like seed in a trodden path; and as 
birds devour such seed, uncovered, exposed, before it can hide 
its roots or send up a stem, so truth, falling on uncongenial 
minds, rolls off, or is dispersed and consumed by gadding and 
hungry world-thoughts. Or, it may be in the crowd that swarms 
around the teachers are many whose hearts are more kindly, 
but they lack force. The truth is readily accepted, but there 
is no deep moral nature into which its roots may penetrate. 
Intense feeling and vivid imagination flourish for a day, and 

^ ^ 

a- ^ 


then languish, perish, and disappear. In the case of other na- 
tures, the truth finds a bed in which to be planted, but one 
where weeds also have found root ; and as in nature that which 
spends its strength in fruit or grain has not strength to cope 
with that which gives little to its fruit, and spends all on its 
robust leaves and stem, the rank growth chokes the tender 
grain/ A few hearts only are like good soil, well tended, capa- 
ble of developing the truth-germ to its full form. 

Thus the moral teacher finds himself limited by hard natures 
that will not receive truth at all, by vivacious and fickle natures 
that retain no impressions long, and by strong natures preoccu- 
pied with worldly interests ; while he finds only a few which 
are in condition to understand, entertain, and deal fairly with 
the truth. Hardness, shallowness, and preoccupation are per- 
petual hindrances. 

This parable of the sower was an illustration of an important 
fact respecting the progress of moral truth ; but it was also an 
answer to those who expected Jesus to bring in the new king- 
dom by the exertion of supernatural forces. It gave the clew to 
the reason why no larger results followed so great an excitement. 
Taken in connection with the abundance of his miracles, it has 
peculiar significance. Jesus wrought no miracle upon the hu- 
man soul. He distinctly marked the line between the physical 
realm and the spiritual. Upon matter he laid a hand of power ; 
for that was to treat it according to its own nature. The hu- 
man soul he left to its own freedom, approaching it only by 
moral influences; that was to treat the soul according to its 

In no instance did he seek to secure moral results by direct 
power By his will he changed water to wine, but never pride 
to humility. He multiplied a few loaves into great abundance 
of bread, but never converted the slender stores of ignorance 
into the riches of knowledge. The fury of the sea he allayed 
by a word, but the storms of human passion he never controlled 
by his irresistible will. During his whole career, there is not 
an instance in which the two realms of matter and of mind were 
confounded, or their respective laws disregarded. His miracles 
were natural, and his teaching was natural. The former man- 
aged physical nature according to its genius, and the latter 

U • — — 



reached out to the human soul according to its peculiar con- 
stitution ; and both of them are admirable illustrations of a 
conformity to nature, in a sense far more intensive and radical 
than is usually attached to that phrase. 

It is for those who regard the Gospels as the gradual unfolding 
of myths, having perhajDs a germ of fact, to explain how, in 
early ages, and among ignorant and superstitious men, this nice 
distinction between the two great realms of creation should 
have been invariably maintained. If the Gospels are not a true 
history of a real Jesus, written by the men whose names they 
bear, but are the product of superstition gradually acting 
through a long period, how is it that so fine an abstinence 
from miracles upon the human soul should have been observed 
by men who evidently had an eager appetite for wonders, and 
who filled their history with marvels without number, but al- 
ways miracles wrought upon matter, and never once upon the 
spirit of man ? 

It is true that Jesus made way for his spiritual teaching by the 
exercise of power upon the infirmities of the body. But that 
was only a preparation for instruction, as ploughing is for seed- 
sowing. The furrow was opened, but the seed was left to ger- 
minate by its own nature and laws. This remarkable subordi- 
nation of physical force to moral influence pervaded his whole 
life and ministry. He exercised his authority to forgive sins, 
but never his power to reform the sinner. Diseases of the 
bod}^ were peremptorily cured ; but the sores and fevers of the 
soul could not be arbitrarily healed. By his coercive power he 
often cast out demons; but evil dispositions, never. Between 
the teaching of Jesus and that of rabbi or philosopher the dif- 
ference was that of substance, not merely of method. He 
addressed truth to the understanding, motives to the will, and 
feeling to the emotions. Not only was he patient with the tardy 
results, but, in all his ministry, he acted as one who left his 
cause to the evolution of the ages. 

If one will compare the Sermon on the Mount ^dth the teach- 
ing in the thirteenth chapter of Matthew, he will see a reason 
why the disciples should be struck with his altered method, 
and why they should inquire from Jesus the reason of so large 
a use of the parable. The spirit of the reply will be better 

C^- ^ 

^ -^ 


understood, if we consider it as a statement of his reasons for 
not employing an open didactic method. The parable was, 
under the circumstances, more likely to inspire curiosity and 
to lead perhaps, by and by, to some knowledge of the truth. 
His disci^Dles were within the new kingdom, by virtue of their 
sensibility to moral ideas. They who from conceit or lack of 
feeling rejected spiritual truth were " without." To them there 
could be no instruction, because there was no susceptibility to 
moral truth. Words fell upon such as seed upon a beaten path. 
As there is something in the eye waiting for the light, and in the 
ear prepared for sound, and in the body ready to digest and 
assimilate food, so there must be in the soul some pre-existing 
fitness for truth. Where the universal moral sense is kept 
clear and practical, the soul will increase in moral excellence. 
But when it is abused, it will lose sensibility and waste away. 
" He answered and said unto them. Because it is given unto you 
to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them 
it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, 
and he shall have more abundance : but whosoever hath not, 
from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore 
speak I to them in parables : because they seeing see not ; and 
hearing they hear not, neither do they understand." 

Li illustration of this view, Jesus quotes from Isaiah (vi. 9) a 
passage which, judged from its face alone, would seem to say 
that Jesus taught in parables for the purpose of actively blind- 
ing those who were "without," and securing their destruction 
by hiding the saving truth from their minds. But this is abhor- 
rent to every sentiment of honor or justice, utterly irreconcilable 
with the very errand of Jesus into the world, and the direct 
opposite of that disposition of pity and love which he not only 
taught, but manifested all his life long. The true heart of Jesus 
was expressed at a later period in these words: "How often 
would I have gathered thy children .... but 7/e would not." 

A parable was adapted to arouse the curiosity of even the 
hardened, and to excite reflection in men's minds, and so ulti- 
mately bring them to the truth better than would didactic 
instruction. Men will remember an illustration when they would 
forget a principle. The parable, so far from being an instru- 
ment for blinding, was better adapted to give light than would 

^ . 





be the unillustrated statement of spiritual things. At the same 
time, it put the truth in such a form that those who were lying 
in wait to catch Jesus in his words would find nothing upon 
which to lay hold. 

The discourse of Jesus was not delivered to a mere peasant 
audience. There were those present capable of acute criticism 
They had kept up with the current of Jewish thought. They 
would be likely to say, " This kingdom, — this new notion of a 
kingdom that no one can see, that has no outward show, — pray, 
how shall one know whether it is present or absent ? " 

And he said. So is the Idngdom of God, as if a man should cast 
seed into the ground ; and shoidd sleep, and rise night and dag, and the 
seed shoidd spring and grow up, he hioweth not hoiv. For the earth 
Iringeth forth fruit of herself, first the blade, then the ear, after that the 
full corn in the car. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he 
puttetli in the sickle, because the harvest is come. 

The realm of the disposition or heart, of Avhich Paul says, 
"The kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteous- 
ness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost," does not march 
in as armies do, but develops by stages of evolution, as do 
plants. "Yet surely," they would say, "there should be some 
beginning to it! Is there no starting-point to this mysterious 
kingdom? It is to be a vast, earth-filling kingdom, — w^here 
are its elements ? Are there no materials which show a prep- 
aration ? " In reply to such queries. 

Another parable put he, forth unto them, say- 
ing. The Jdngdom of heaven is like to a grain 
of mustard-seed, luhich a man took, and soived 
in his field: which indeed is the least of all 
seeds : but when it is grown, it is the greatest 
among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the 
birds of the air come and lodge in the branches 

"Ah, it is an influence then," they said. 
" But where is the working of that in- 
fluence ? " 

The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, 
ivhich a woman took, and hid in three measures 
of meal, till the whole was leavened. 





It is silent influence. It works within the heart. The woman 
neither sees nor hears what is going on in the dough; yet in 
the morning it is leavened. Thus the Divine influence is silent- 
ly working in the souls of men. 

"This motley crowd, is this your kingdom? Are these all 
good men ? Kagged, squalid, mean, mixed of all nations, run- 
ning after you from curiosity, or in hope of some gain, or for 
an interested purpose, — do you pretend that God's kingdom 
is made up of such ? " 

The Jcingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that ivas cast into the 
sea, and gathered of every hind : ivhich, ivhen it zvas full, they drew 
to shore, and sat doivn, and gathered the good into vessels, hut cast the 
l)ad aivag. So shall it be at the end of the ivorld : the angels shall come 
forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them 
into the furnace of fire : there shall he ivailing and gnashing of teeth. 

" At the end of the world ? That is a long time to wait ! 
Why do you not select and enroll your followers ? Why not at 
once cast away from you all unworthy jDcrsons, and register the 
clearly good ? " 

To this Jesus replies that the thing cannot be done. The 
church will always have unworthy members, the kingdom of 
God on earth will always be represented by rude and imperfect 
materials : — 

Another parable pnt he forth unto them, saying, The Jcingdom of heaven 
is likened unto a man which soived good seed in his field : hid ivhile men 
slept, his enemy came and soived tares among the wheat, and tvent his ivay. 
But ivhen the blade tuas sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then ap- 
peared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said 
unto him. Sir, didst not thou sotv good seed in thy field? from whence 
then hath it tares ? He said unto them. An enemy hath done this. 
The servants said iinto him. Wilt thou then that ive go and gather them 
up ? But he said. Nay ; lest ivhile ye gather up the tares, ye root up 
also the wheat ivith them. Let both grow together until the harvest : and 
in the time of Imrvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first 
the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them : but gather the wheat 
into my barn. 

While all things are imperfect, the separation of good and 
bad is impossible. When all things are ripe, there will be no 
difficulty in securing the wheat. 



Insignificant and valueless as a share in this invisible new 
kingdom might seem to men greedy of gain or inflamed with 
ambition, there was nothing in life to compare with it. One 
might well give all his time, his influence, and his means, to 
be possessed of it : — 

The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field ; the tvhich 
tvhcu a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof cjoeth and sell- 
etli all that he hath, and huycth that field. 

What are houses, lands, and money worth to a heart stirred up 
with discontent? A heart at peace, or overflowing with joy, 
can better be without worldly goods, than have riches without 
heart happiness ! Many a man, outwardly hard and rugged 
as the oyster-shell, carries within him a pearl of exceeding 
worth : — 

The Idngdom of heaven is like mito a merchant-man seeking goodly 
IjearU : ivho, tvhen he had found one pearl of great price, ivent and 
sold all that he had, and hovght it. 

It is likely that not a single person of his audience gained a 
clear idea of God's spirit-kingdom, but it is still less probable 
that any left the shore of Galilee that day without the begin- 
nings of new thoughts, which from that time forth began to 
leaven their minds. 

It is a difficult task even now, after so many hundred years 
of experience, to expound to unknowing hearts the meaning 
of the kingdom of heaven, so that they shall comprehend it. It 
was yet more difficult in the daj^s of the Son of Man. But, 
with all our progress in knowledge, we still go back to these 
parables of Jesus as the easiest and clearest expositions of his 
kingdom that can be received, — not through the hearing of 
the ear, but only by the understanding heart. 

The Voice ceased. The crowd disappeared. The light that 
had sparkled along the waters and fired the distant hills went 
out. Twilight came on; the evening winds whispered among 
the rustling reeds, and the ripples gurgling upon the beach 
answered them in liquid echoes. The boom of the solitary bit- 
tern came over the waters, and now and then, as darkness fell 
upon the lake, the call of the fishermen, at their night-toil. The 
crowd dispersed. The world received its own again. With 




the darkness came forgetfulness, leaving but a faint memory 
of the Voice or of its teachings, as of a wind whisj^ering 
among the fickle reeds. The enthusiasm of the throng, like 
the last rays of the sun, died out; and their hearts, like the 
sea, again sent incessant desires murmuring and complainmg 
to the shore. 

SlXt OF CAl^tliJsAUM. 








Luke i. 1-4. "TpORASMUCH as many have taken in liand to set forth in 
-J- order a declaration of those things which are most surely 
believed among us, even as they delivered them unto us, which 
from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the 
word ; it seemed good to me also, having had perfect under- 
standing of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in 
order, most excellent Theophilus, that thou mightest know the 
certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.^ 




rriHE object of this compilation has been to consolidate the matter of the 
-■- four Gospels so as to form it into one continuous narrative, and at the 
same time to enable the reader to ascertain with facility the source from 
■\yhich each part has been derived. 

In the construction of this narrative, every word of each Gospel has been 
incorporated, except where the same words are found concurrently in more 
than one Gospel, or where the forms of concurrent expressions are such as 
not to admit of their coalescing : in the latter case the words not incor- 
porated in the text are noted in the margin. In this way every word 
of all the four Gospels will be found either in the text or in the margin. 

It has been necessary to add certain words, and been thought advisable 
to substitute others, in order to preserve the sense, or the grammatical con- 
struction : the words added and substituted are, however, carefully noted, 
and distinguished from those taken from the Gospels. 

The nature of the compilation has made crudeness and tautology, in many 
places, unavoidable ; but these defects of style have been thought of less 
moment than that loss of authenticity which would necessarily have . 
resulted from an extensive modification of the text. 

The verbal accuracy of the authorized version of the Gospels is assumed, 
and no criticism or comment is attempted. 

The main endeavor has been, by placing the Gospel narrative before the 
reader in the form in which other narratives are now usually written, to 
enable him, unconsciously, as it were, to receive all the information fur- 
nished by the four Gospels combined, without the labor and distraction of 
consulting the several Gospels ; and, at tlie same time, to facilitate refer- 
ence to the Gospels themselves for verification of the text. 

The arbitrary division of the Scriptures into chapters and verses makes 
a greater demand upon the attention of the reader than does a narrative 

^ ^ 



in the usual form ; and the comparison of different parallel accounts, even 
with the assistance of a Harmony, involves such additional concentrated 
attention as can be looked for only in the earnest biblical student. This 
compilation, it is hoped, will enable even a casual reader to follow out the 
thread of the Gospel history, without effort or distraction. 

An explanation of the system of arrangement adopted is subjoined, and 
a reference table is added, by which it can be ascertained in what part 
of the work the chapters and verses of the different Gospels are incor- 

A full Index to the Gospel history is also appended * 

F. T. H. 

South Hampstead, 1869. 

* It has been thought best to quote the compiler's prefatory explanation entire, but 
the Reference Table and Index mentioned are not included in the present Appendix to 
" The Life of Jesus, the Christ." 


cB -a 


THE figure in the text indicates that the portion preceding it has been taken from 
St. Matthew's Gospel. In hke manner the figures f), f), and(*) indicate the Gos- 
pel from which the portions preceding them are taken, f) indicating St. Mark's 
St. Luke's, and (♦) St. John's Gospel. 

The figures C), (J), f); and (*) after the words in the margin indicate in like manner the 
Gospels in which such words are found, in lieu of the words to which the notes of 
reference are appended. 

The figure (°) indicates that the words preceding it are not found in any of the four Gos- 
pels, but have been either introduced or substituted. 

The chapters and verses quoted in the margin show what portions of each Gospel are 
incorporated in each particular page. 



Parables — the Soioei the Tares and the Wheat — the Growinq Seed ^,^^*:'P-\^z}^- 

^ Miii'k IV. 1 - 10. 

— the Grain of Mustard Seed — the Leaven — the Hid Treasure Luke vUi. 4 - 9. 

— the Pearl of Great Price — the Net and Fishes. 

THE same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea- « And when, s 
side/ and he began again to teach.^ And" great multitudes great multitude. 2 
were ^ gathered together unto him,^ aud were come to him out of ^^^^^.F*^"^^^^ 
every city,^ so that he wenf^ into a ship, aud sat^ in the sca:^ aud centered. 2 

d was by the fsea 

the whole multitude stood on the shore.** And he spake many on the land, a 
things unto them,^ and ^taught them '^ in parables,' saying^/ unto " by Tp'Trabiefs 
them in his doctriue,^ /and said. 2 

The figure Q) in the second line indicates that all that precedes is taken from St. Mat- 

The figure (^) in the same line indicates that the words " and he began again to teach " 
are taken from St. Mark. 

The figure (') in the third line indicates that the words "And great multitudes were 
gathered together unto him " are taken from St. Matthew. 

The figure Q) in the fourth line indicates that the words " and were come to him out of 
every city " are taken from St. Luke. 


[&- ■■ 


In the same way it will be understood that the words, 

" so that he went into a ship, and sat " are from St. Matthew. 

"in the sea"; " St. Mark. 

" and the whole multitude stood on \ 

the shore. And he spake many >■ " St. Matthew 

things unto them " ) 

" taught them " " St. Mark. 

" in parables, saying " " St. Matthew. 

"unto them in his doctrine," " St. Mark. 

The figure f ) in the sixth line indicates that the word " and " is not to be found in 

either Gospel, but has been introduced. 

^ • - ■ ' I Indicate that these portions of those particular Gospels are incorpo- 

Mark iv. 1-10. V , ^ • .1 , 

V rated ni that page. 
Luke viii. 4-9.") ^° 

Note a, indicates that in St. Luke the words " And when " occur instead of the word 

" And." 
" b, that in St. Mark the words " there was a great multitude," and that in St. Luke 

the words " much people were," occur instead of the words " great multitudes 

" c, that in St. Mark the word " entered " occurs instead of the word " went." 
" d, that in St. Mark the words " was by the sea on the land " occur instead of the 

words " stood on the shore." 
" e, that in St. Mark the words " by parables," and in St. Luke the Avords " by a 

parable," occur instead of the words " in parables." 
" /, that in St. Mark the words " and said " occur instead of the word "saymg." 





Chapter Paob 

I. The Divinity of Jesus Christ 335 

II. The Birth of John the Baptist and the Birtli of Jesus foretold, and the 

Meeting of Mary and EUsabeth 335 

III. Birth and Circumcision of John tlie Baptist 338 

IV. Birth and Circumcision of Jesus Clu-ist 339 

V. The Genealogies of Jesus Christ 341 

VI. The Infancy of Jesus Christ 344 

VII. The Preaching of John the Baptist 346 

VIII. The Baptism of Jesus Christ, and liis Temptation 348 

IX. The Testimony of John the Baptist to Jesus, and the Calling of the first Dis- 
ciples 349 

X. The Marriage at Cana. — Journey to Jerusalem. — The Casting out of the 

Traders from the Temple 351 

XI. Jesus and Nicodemus. — Further Testimony of the Baptist . . . 352 

XII. Imprisonment of John the Baptist. — Return of Jesus to Galilee. — Inter- 
view with the Woman of Samaria ." . 354 

XIII. The Preaching of Jesus in Gahlee. — Several Miracles. — Calling of several 

Disciples 357 

XIV. Healing of a Leper, and of a Paralytic 3G0 

XV. Healing of a Man on the Sabbath, and consequent Discussion . . • 362 

XVI. Christ's Teaching as to the Sabbath. — The Ordination of the Twelve 

Apostles 364 

XVII. The Sermon on the Mouut 367 

fl a 


XVIII. The Healing of the Centurion's Servant, and the Raising of the Widow's 

SonatNain . . . 372 

XIX. Jesus and the Disciples of John Baptist. — Jesus' Testimony of John Bap- 
tist, — his Condemnation of the unbelieving Cities. — Jesus anointed by 
a Woman at a Pharisee's House 374 

XX. Another Circuit through Galilee. — Denunciation of the Scribes and 
Pharisees on the Occasion of a Devil being cast out, and of a Dinner 
at a Pharisee's House 376 





The Divinity of Jesus Christ. 

THE beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.^ john'i" V-5, 
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, 14,16-18. 
and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. 
All things were made by him ; and without him was not anything 
made that was made. In him was life ; and the life was the liglit 
of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness 
comprehended it not.* 

He 5" was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh a That.* 
into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made 
by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and 
his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them 
gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that be- 
lieve on his name : which were born, not of blood, nor of the will 
of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word 
was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the 
glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and 
truth.* And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for gi-ace. 
For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus 
Christ. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten 
Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.* 


The Birth of John the Baptist and the Birth of Jesus foretold, and 
the Meeting of Mary and Elisabeth. 

HERE was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The J""^" '_^S- 
same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all 
men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was ■* 




Luke i. 5 -24. fjent to bear witness of that Light. * John bare witness of him, 

John i. 8, 15. i rr i i 

— and cried, saying, " This was he of whom I spake. He that cometh 

after me is preferred before me : for he was before me." * 

There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain 
priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia : and his wife was of 
the daughters of Aaron, and her name was EUsabeth. And they 
were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments 
and ordinances of the Lord blameless. And they had no child, 
because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well 
stricken in years. 

And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office 
before God in the order of his course, according to the custom of the 
priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the 
temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people were 
praying without at the time of incense. And there appeared unto 
him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar 
of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear 
fell upon him. 

But the angel said unto him, 

" Fear not, Zacharias : for thy prayer is heard ; and thy wife 
Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name ' John.' 
And thou shalt have joy and gladness ; and many shall rejoice at 
his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and 
shall drink neither wine nor strong drink ; and he shall be filled 
with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb. And many 
of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And 
aEiiM.3 he shall go before him in the spirit and power of* Elijah,^" to turn 

the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to 
the wisdom of the just ; to make ready a people prepared for the 

And Zacharias said unto the angel, 

"AVhereby shall I know this] for I am an old man, and my wife 
well stricken in years." 

And the angel answering said imto him, 

" I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God ; and am sent 
to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. And, 
behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day 
that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not 
my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season." 

And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tar- 
ried so long in the temple. And when he came out, he could not 
speak unto them : and they perceived that he had seen a vision in 
the temple : for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless. 

And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministra- 
tion were accomplished, he departed to his own house. 

And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid her- 
self five months, saying,* 



" Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked ^"''« ' J^ *S- 
ou me, to take away my reproach among men." 

And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto 
a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose 
name was Joseph, of the house of David ; and the virgin's name was 

And the angel came in unto her, and said, 

" Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee : blessed 
art thou among women." 

And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast 
in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 

And the angel said unto her, 

" Fear not, Mary : for thou hast found favor with God. And, be- 
hold, thou shalt conceive in thy W'omb, and bring forth a son, and 
slialt call his name 'Jesus.' He shall be great, and shall be called 
the Son of the Highest : and the Lord God shall give unto him the 
throne of his father David : and he shall reign over the house of 
Jacob forever ; and of his kingdom there shall be no end." 

Then said Mary unto the angel, 

" How shall this be, seeing I know^ not a man % " 

And the angel answered and said unto her, 

" The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the 
Highest sliall overshadow thee : therefore also that holy thing which 
shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, 
thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age : 
and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For 
with God nothing shall be impossible." 

And Mary said, 

" Behold the handmaid of the Lord ; be it unto me according to 
thy word." 

And the angel departed from her. 

And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill comitry with 
haste, into a city of^ Judah ;^" and entered into the house of Zach- ajuda.-t 
arias, and saluted Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that, when Elisa- 
beth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb ; 
and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost : and she spake out 
with a loud voice, and said, 

" Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy 
womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord 
should come to me % for, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation 
sounded in mine eai-s, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And 
blessed is she that believed : for there shall be a performance of 
those things which were told her from the Lord." 

And ]\lary said, 

"My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced 
in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his 
handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall calP 



Luke i. 48-56. t^q blcssed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; 
and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him 
from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with his 
arm ; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their 
hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted 
them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things ; 
and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen his ser- 
vant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; as he spake to our fathers, 
to Abraham, and to his seed for ever." 

And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to 
her own house.* 


Birth and Oircumcision of John the Baptist. 

Luke i. 57-73. ""VT^OW Elisabeth's full time came that she should be delivered; 
-^^ and she brought forth a son. And her neighbors and her 
cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her ; and 
they rejoiced with her. 

And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circum- 
cise the child ; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of 
his father. 

And his mother answered and said, 

" Not so ; but he shall be called ' John.' " 

And they said unto her, 

" There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name." 

And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. 
And he asked for a writing-table, and wrote, saying, 

" His name is John." 

And they marvelled all. And his mouth was opened immediately, 
and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God. And fear 
came on all that dwelt round about them : and all these sayings were 
noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea. And all 
they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, 

" What manner of child shall this be ! " 

And the hand of the Lord was with him. 

And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and 
prophesied, saying, 

" Blessed be the Lord God of Israel ; for he hath visited and re- 
aan.3 deemed his people, and hath raised up^ a^" horn of salvation for us 

in the house of his servant David ; as he spake by the mouth of his 
holy prophets, which have been since the world began : that we 
should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that 
hate us ; to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to re- 
member his holy covenant ; the oath which he sware to our father * 




Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we being dehvcred out Luke i. 73-80. 
of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, in holiness 
and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. 

" And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest : for 
thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways ; to 
give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their 
sins, through the tender mercy of our God ; whereby the dayspring 
from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in dark- 
ness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of 

And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the 
deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.^ 


Birth and Circumcision of Jesus Christ. 

^VTOW the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise : Luken. i^-6^' 

-1-^ When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before 

they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 

Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make 

her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But 

while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord 

appeared unto him in a dream, saying, 

"Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy 
wife : for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And 
she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name 'Jesus,' 
for he shall save his people from their sins." 

Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken 
of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 

" Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, 
And they shall call his name Emmanuel,"" (which being interpreted is "God a isaiah vii U. 
with us.") 

Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord 
had bidden him, and took unto him his wife : and knew her not till 
she had brought forth her first-born son.-^ 

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree 
from Caesar Augustus, that all the world shoxild be taxed. (And 
this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 
And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph 
also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Juda:;a, 
unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem ; (because he was 
of the house and lineage of David:) to be taxed with Mary his 
espoused wife, being great with child. 

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accom- ^ 

^ ^ 

[fl^^ — ^ 


Lukeii. 6-29. pHshed that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her 
first-born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him 
in a manger.; because there was no room for them in the inn. 

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the 
field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of 
tlie Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round 
about them : and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto 

"Fear not: for, behold, I .bring you good tidings of great joy, 
which shall be to all people. For unto you is bom this day in the 
city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall 
be a sign unto yoxi ; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling 
clothes, lying in a manger." 

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heav- 
enly host praising God, and saying, 

" Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good-will to- 
ward men." 

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them 
into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, 

" Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which 
is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us." 

And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the 
babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made 
known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 
And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told 
them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pon- 
dered them in her heart. 

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all 
the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. 

And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of 
a \ie(Jnsfph) |.]jg child, his name was called " " Jesus," which was so named of 

called his ' 

name.i i\^q angel before he was conceived in the womb. And when the 

days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accom- 
plished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord ; 
(as it is written in the law of the Lord, " Every male that openeth 
the womb shall be called holy to the Lord " ; ) and to offer a sacri- 
fice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, " A pair 
of turtledoves, or two young pigeons." 

And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was 
Simeon ; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the 
consolation of Israel : and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it 
was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see 
death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came by the 
Spirit into the ten^ple : and when the parents brought in the child 
Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, then took he him 
up in his ai'ms, and blessed God, and said, 

"Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according^ 

[^ ^ S 


— ■ ^ 


to thy word : for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which tliou hast Lukeii^-39. 
prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles, 
and the glory of thy people Israel." 

And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were 
spoken of him. 

And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, 

" Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in 
Israel ; and for a sign which shall be spoken against ; (yea, a sword 
shall pierce through thy own soul also), that the thoughts of many 
hearts may be revealed." 

And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, 
of the tribe of^ Asheri-^ she was of a great age, and had lived «Aser.s 
with 3 a* husband seven years from her virginity ; and she was a 6 an. 3 
widow of about fourscore and "four years, which departed not from 
the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. 
And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, 
and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Je- 

And 3 they^« performed all things according to the law of the -And when they 




The Genealogies of Jesus Christ. 

^HE book of the generation of Jesus Christ.'* Matt.i.i-8. 

JL The son of David. 

The son of Abraham. 
Abraham begat Isaac ; and 
Isaac begat Jacob ; and 

Jacob begat ^ Judah ' ^ and his brethren ; and ^ rf Judas, i 

Judah^-J begat 1 Pharez^* and^ Zarah^/of^ Tamar;"? and ^ J^J'^T' 
Phares ^ * begat ^ Hezron ; ^ * and ^ g Thamar.i 

Hezron ^ ^ begat ^ Ram ; ^ ' and ^ ' '^''■°™' 

Ram ' '• begat ^ Araminadab ; « '^ and ^ I'J^Tnadab. 

Amminadab ^ * begat ^ Nahshon ; ® ' and ^ ' Naasson. i 

Nahshon ^ ' begat Salmon ; and 

Salmon begat ^ Boaz ^ ™ of Rahab ; ^ « and ^ .TiSab. i 

Boaz ^ "« begat Obed of Ruth ; and 
Obed begat Jesse ; and 
Jesse begat David the king ; and 
David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife 

ofi Uriah; 5 "and * ''^"'^'•' 

Solomon begat ^ Rchoboam ; ^ P and ^ ^ f ''°'''°- \ 

^ e_ ■, \ Q Roboam. >■ 

Rehoboam ^ i begat ^ Abijah ; ^ *■ and r Abia. i 

Abijah ^ '■ begat Asa ; and 




Matt. i. 8-17. 
Marki. 1. 
Luke iii. 23-2G. 

a Josaphat. 1 
b Jorani. i 
c Ozias. 1 
<i Joatham. ^ 
e Achaz. 1 
/Ezekias. ' 

Manasses. i 

h Josias. 1 
' Jechonias. i 

^' Zorobabel.i 


Asa begat ^ Jehoshaphat ; ^ " and ^ 

Jehoshaphat ^ " begat ^ Jehoram ; ^ '' and ^ 

Jehoram ^ ^ begat ^ Uzziah ; ^ '^ and ^ 

Uzziab ^ " begat ^ Jotham ; ^ ** and ^ 

Jotham ^ "* begat ^ Ahaz ; ^ * and ^ 

Ahaz ^ ' begat ^ Hezekiah ; ^/ and ^ 

Hezekiah ^/ -begat ^ Manasseh ; ^ff and ^ 

Manasseh ^ «• begat Amon ; and 

Anion begat -^ Josiah ; ^ * and ^ 

Josiah ^ * begat ^ Jeconiah ^ * and his brethren, 

About the time they were carried away to Babylon : 
And after they were brought to Babylon, ^ 

Jeconiah ^ ' begat Salathiel ; and 

Salathiel begat ^ Zerubbabel ; ^ ^ and ^ 

Zerubbabel ^ ^ begat Abiud ; and 

Abiud begat Eliakim ; and 

Eliakim begat Azor ; and 

Azor begat Sadoc ; and 

Sadoc begat Achim ; and 

Achim begat Eliud; and 

Eliud begat Eleazar ; and 

Eleazar begat Matthan ; and 

Matthan begat Jacob ; and 

Jacob begat 

Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was bom 
Jesus who is called Christ. 
So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen gen- 
erations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are 
fourteen generations ; and from the carrying away into Babylon 
unto Christ are fourteen generations.^ 
Jesus Christ the Son of GOD.^ 

Jesus * being (as was supposed) the son of 

Joseph, which was the son of 

Heli, which was the son of 

Matthat, which was the son of 

Levi, which was the son of 

Melchi, which was the son of 

Janna, which was the son of 

Joseph, which was the son of 

Mattathias, which was the son of 

Amos, which was the son of 

Naum, which was the son of 

Esli, which was the son of 

Nagge, which was the son of 

Maath, which was the son of 

Mattathias, which was the son of 

Semei, which was the son of ^ 






Joseph, which was the son of 
Juda, which was the son of 
Joanna, which was the son of 
Rhesa, which was the son of 
Zerubbabel,^ " which was the son of 
Salathiel, which was the son of 
Neri, which was the son of 
Melchi, which was the son of 
Addi, which was the son of 
Cosam, which was the son of 
Ehnodam, which was the son of 
Er, which was the son of 
Jose, which was the son of 
Eliezer, which was the son of 
Jorim, which was the son of 
Matthat, which was the son of 
Levi, which was the son of 
Simeon, which was the son of 
Juda, which was the son of 
Joseph, which was the son of 
Jonan, which was the son of 
Eliakim, which was the son of 
Melea, which was the son of 
Menan, which was the son of 
Mattatha, which was the son of 
Nathan, which was the son of 
David, which was the son of 
Jesse, which was the son of 
Obed, which was the son of" 
Boaz,^ ^ which was the son of 
Salmon, which was the son of ^ 
Nahshon,^'' which was the son of ^ 
Amminadab,^"^ which was the son of 
Ram,^' which was the son of* 
Hezron,^/ which was the son of® 
Pharez,^s' which was the son of* 
Judah,^ * which was the son of 
Jacob, which was the son of 
Isaac, which was the son of 
Abraham, which was the son of ^ 
Terah,^ * which was the son of ® 
Nahor,^*" which was the son of* 
Serug,®' which was the son of 
Reu,^"* which was the son of ^ 
Peleg,^" which was the son of ^ 
Eber,^ " which was the son of ^ 
Shelah,^^ which was the son of ^ 

Luke iii. 26- 

a Zorobabel. * 

h Booz » 

<^ Xaasson . •* 
't Aminadab. 3 
e Aram. 3 
9 Phares. 3 
h Juda. 3 

I Thara. 3 
*■ Nachor. ■'' 
< Saruch. » 
m Ragau. 3 
n Phalec s 
Heber. * 
V Sala. 3 





Luke iii 36-38. 

a Sem. 3 

c Mathusala. * 

d MalelceL ^ 

Cainan, which was the son of 
Arphaxad, which was the sou of ^ 
Shem,^ " which was the sou of ^ 
Noah,^ ^ which was the son of 
Lamech, which was the son of ^ 
Methuselah/ ' which was the son of 
Enoch, which was the son of 
Jared, which was the son of ^ 
Mahalaleel,^ "^ which was the son of 
Cainan, which was the son of 
Enos, which was the son of 
Seth, which was the son of 
Adam, which was the son of 


Matt. ii. 1-11. 

c Juda. 1 

/ Micah V. 2. 

Tlie Infancy of Jesus Christ. 

"'VTOW Then Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judsea in the days 
-LM of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east 
to Jerusalem, saying, 

" Where is he that is born King of the Jews 1 for we have seen 
his star in the east, and are come to worship him." 

When Herod the king had heard these things, he was ti-oubled, 
and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the 
chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of 
them where Christ should be born. 

And they said unto him, 

" In Bethlehem of Judaea : for thus it is written by the prophet, 

" 'And thou Bethlehem, in the land of i Judah,5« 
Art not the least among the princes of ^ Judah : ^ ^ 
For out of thee shall come a Governor, 
That shall rule my people Israel.' " ■f 

Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired 
of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them 
to Bethlehem, and said, 

" Go and search diligently for the young child ; and when ye have 
found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him 

When they had heard the king, they departed ; and, lo, the star, 
which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood 
over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they re- 
joiced with exceeding great joy. 

And when they were come into the house, they saw the young ^ 


— — a 


child with Mary his mother, and fell down and worshipped him : and ^^^^Hl]:^] 
when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; 
gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. And being warned of God in a 
dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into 
their own country another way. 

And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord ap- 
peareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, 

"Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into 
Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word : for Herod will 
seek the young child to destroy him." 

When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, 
and departed into Egypt : and was there until the death of Herod : 
that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the 
prophet, saying, 

"Out of Egj-pt have I called my son." " « Uosea si. 1. 

Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, 
was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that 
were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old 
and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired 
of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by ^ 
Jeremiah ^^ the prophet, saying, 6 Jeremy, i 

" 111 Rama was tliere a voice heard, 
Lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, 
Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, 
Because they are not." " <= Jer. xxxi. 15. 

But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth 
in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, 

" Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the 
land of Israel : for they are dead which sought the young child's 

And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came 
into the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus did reign 
in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go 
thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream,^ they^** 
turned aside,^ and ^ returned ^ into the parts of Galilee : and^ they ^'^ 
came and dwelt in ^ * their own city/ Nazareth : ' that it might be 
fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, " He shall be called a 
Nazarene."^ff !7is. iiii.2. 

And the child gi'ew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wis- 
dom : and the grace of God was upon him. 

Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the 
passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jeru- 
salem after the custom of the feast. And when they had fulfilled 
the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusa- 
lem ; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, suppos- 
ing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and^ 

- -^ 

d he.l 

etc. 3 

/a city called. 




Lnluu. ^-52. 

thev sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when 
they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking 

And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the 
temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and 
asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished 
at his understandiug and answers. And when they saw him, they 
were amazed : and his mother said unto him, 

" S<:>n, why hast thou thus dealt with us \ behold, thy father and I 
have sought thee sorrowing." 

And he said uuto them, 

" How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about 
my Father's business \ " 

And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. 

And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was 
subject unto them : but his mother kept aU these sayings in her 

And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God 
and man.' 


The Prtaching of John the Baptist. 

Matt. m. l-a 
Lokem. 1-6- 

a in those d>js. 


flstaah xl. 3-5l 

'OW in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar,* 
Pontius Pilate being governor of Judfca, and Herod being 
tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and 
of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, 
Annas and Caiaphas being the high-priests, the word of God came 
unto John' the Baptist,' the son of Zacharias, in the wUdemess. 
And he came into aU the country about Jordan,' and * did baptize * 
in the wilderness of Judaea,* and preach ** the baptism of repentance 
for the remission of sins,' saying,* 

" Repent ye : for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." * 

As it is written in the prophets, 

" Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, 
"Which shall prepare thy way before thee " : 2 << 

and* in the book of the words of Isaiah '' the prophet, saying, 

" The voice of one crying in the wilderness. 
Prepare ye the way of the Loni, 
Make his paths straight. 
Every valley shall be filled. 

And every mountain and hill shall be brought low ; 
And the crooked shall be made straight. 
And the roogh wajrs shall be made smooth ; 
And all flesh shall see the salvation of God." '-^ 

For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet * Isaiah.*? 


— t-^ 


And the same John had his raiment of" camel's hair, and a leath- Jf^-™.*!,^ 

' Maox 1. 3-?- 

em girdle' about his loins; and his meat was' locusts and wild i«»t«^j^-is 
honev.^ " ^L *aed 

Then * ^ there went out unto ' him all the land of Judaea, and ther * ^t^ » prfie rf 
of Jerusalem,* and aU the region round about Jordan, and were * all c be did ck. s 
baptized of him in the rirer of Jordan, confessing their sins.* ^ ^f" * 

Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of 
him,' when/ he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadduc-ees oome to /bnt-rten-i 
his baptism, s" p ^^ ™*° 

" O generation of vipers, who hath warned vou to flee firom the 
wrath to oome 1 Bring forth therefore fruits worthj of * repentance, * ™«*^ *"- ^ 
and begin • not to say within youreelves, ' We have Abraham to our • thmk. i 
father' : for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to 
raise up children unto Abraham, And now also the axe is laid 
imto the root of the trees : every tree therefore which bringeth not 
forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fixe." 

And the people asked hiTTij saying, 

" What shaU we do then ! " 

He answereth and saith unto them, 

" He that hath two coats, let him impart to hTm that hath none : 
and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.^ 

Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto hivn^ 

'' Master, what shall we do ? " 

And he said unto them, 

" Exact no more than that which is appoint'ed yotL~ 

And the soldiei^ likewise demanded of him. sayzm:. 

" And what shall we do I " 

And he said unto them, 

" Do violenc-e to no man, neither accuse any felsely : and be con- 
tent with your wages.*' 

And as the people were in expectation, and ali men mused in 
their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not : John an- 
swered, *^ saying unto them all, taBdpra«*ea.s 

" I indeed baptize ' you with water ' unto repentance : but ^ there 'ta^e ^o^^tAA 
Cometh one " miirhtier than I ait^r me.^ the latchet of whose shoes I » hetiatoimea 
am not worthy to stoop down and unloose :-* he shall baptize you »beax.i 
with the Holy Ghost and with fire : whose fan is in his hand, and he 
will thoroughly purge his floor, and will gather the • wheat into his ch5s.i 
gamer ; but the chafi" he will bum * up * with fire imquendiable." ' 

And many other things in his exhortation ]»^eacfaed he unto the 







Tlie Baptism of Jesus Christ, and his Tem-ptation. 

Matt. jii. 13-17. 

— iv.1-8. 
Marki. 9-13. 

— iv. 1,12. 

a And. 2 
6 then. 1 
c cometh. 1 

rf also being. 3 

e coming up. 2 

/ he saw the heav- 
ens. 2 

the heaven was. 3 

9 hini. 1 

h descended. * 
there came a 
voice. " 

fc .saying, i 2 

I thou art. 2 3 

m thee. 3 

n then.l 

"by. 3 

V the Spirit driv- 
eth him. 2 

9 being. 3 

'■ the devil. 3 

s when they were 

ended. 3 
« afterward hun- 

gred. 3 

w this stone that 
it. 3 

X And. 3 
;/ he. 1 
2 and said, l 
« Dent. viii. 3. 
h And he. 3 

c set. 3 

d said. 3 

e over. 3 

/Ps.xci. 11,12. 

9 said. 3 

A Deut. vi. 16. 
i And. 3 
i' taking. 3 

"~VT"0"\V ^ " it came to pass in those days,^ * when all the people 
-1-^ were baptized,^ that Jesus came" from Nazareth of Galilee^ 
to Jordan unto John to be baptized of him. 

But John forbad him, saying, 

" I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me 1 " 

And Jesus answering said unto him, 

" Suffer it to be so now : for thus it becometh us to fulfil all right- 

Then he suffered him,^ and was baptized of John in Jordan.^ 

And Jesus,^ praying,^ when he was** baptized, went up* straight- 
way out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were/ opened unto^ 
Johnj^s- and he saw the Spirit of God,^ the Holy Ghost,^ descend- 
ing ^ * in a bodily shape,^ like a dove, and lighting upon him : and lo 
a voice ^ came^' from heaven,^ which said,''* 

"This is' my beloved Son, in whom"' I am well pleased."^ 

And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, 
and" was^ immediately^ led up of the Spirit^ into the wilderness to 
be tempted of the devil.-' 

And he was? there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Sa- 
tan ; ^ and was with the wild beasts ; " and in those days he did eat 

And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights,' he was after- 
ward ^ a ^ ' hungred." 

And when the tempter,^ the devil,^ came to him, he said* unto 

" If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones™ be made 

But * * Jesus 2' answered him, saying,^ 

" It is written, ' That man shall not live by bread alone, but by 
every word ^ that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.' " ^ " 

Then the deviP' brought him to Jerusalem,^ and^ taketh him up 
into the holy city, and setteth " him on a pinnacle of the temple, and 
saith ^ unto him, 

" If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down ^ from hence ; ^ 
for it is written, ' He shall give his angels charge concerning * thee,* 
to keep thee : and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at 
any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.' "•/" 

And Jesus, answering, said unto him,^ 

" It is written again, s" ' Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy 
God.' " ^ 

Again,' the devil taketh *■ him up into an exceeding high mountain,* 



— -ft 


and sheweth« him all the kinodoms of the world, and the glory JJll^l,- J^if.""- 
of thcnV in a moment of time;« and^ the devil « saith ^ unto ^^_ 

l^;,-,^ a showed unto. 3 

"All these things 1 and the glory of them,« and« all this power ^ said. 3 
will I ^ive thee,« (for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever 
I will I give it,)' if thou wilt fall down and worship jne." « 'l^Zx'"":^. 

Thon^'' Jesus answered and said « unto hmi,* shLubrt'hine.a 

"Get thee hence,/ Satan : for it is written, 'Thou shalt worship .And.a^ 
the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.' " ^ s" /behind me. 3 

And when the devil had ended all the temptation,* he departed l^^^j"-^^- 
from'- him for a season.^ And, behold, angels'^ came and mmistcred ■ i--th^;^^ 

unto him.^ ^ 

And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age. 


The Testimony of John the Baptist to Jesus, and the Calling of the 

first Biscijyles. 

AND tliis is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests John i^- 27 
and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, 
" Who art thou r' 

And he confessed, and denied not ; but confessed, 
" I am not the Christ." 

And they asked him, ^ ^^ ^ 

" What then ] Art thou * Elijah ] " ^ ' 
And he saith, 
" I am not." 

" Art thou that prophet •? " 
And he answered, 

Then said they unto him, 

" Who art thou 1 that we may give an answer to them that sent 
ns. What sayest thou of thyself 1 " 
He said, 

"I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, 'Make straight ^^^^ ^^ ^ 
the way of the Lord, *" as said the prophet * Isaiah." ^ " nEsaias.* 

And they which were sent were of the Pharisees. And they 
asked him, and said unto him, 

"Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, noi 
Elijah,^" neither that prophet]" 
John answered them, saying, 

" I baptize with water : but there standeth one among you, whom 
ye know not ; he it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, 
whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose."^ 


o Elias. * 


cP"^ -a 


John i 28-46. These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, -where John 

■was baptizing. 

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, 

"Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. 
This is he of whom I said, 'After me cometh a man which is pre- 
ferred before me ' : for he was before me. And I knew him not : 
but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come 
baptizing with water." 

And John bare record, saying, 

I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode 
upon him. And I knew him not : but he that sent me to baptize 
with water, the same said unto me, * Upon whom thou shalt see the 
Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which bap- 
tizeth with the Holy Ghost.' And I saw, and bare record that this 
is the Son of God." 

Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples ; and 
looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, 

" Behold the Lamb of God ! " 

And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 
Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, 

" What seek ye ] " 

They said unto him, 

" Rabbi," (which is to say, being interpreted, " Master,") " where 
dwellest thou 1 " 

He saith unto them, 

" Come and see." 

They came and saw where he dw-elt, and abode with him that 
day : for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two which heard 
John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's bi'other. 
He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, 

"We have found the Messias," (which is, being interpreted, "the 

And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he 

"Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called 'Cephas,'" 
(which is by interpretation, " A stone.") 

The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth 
Philip, and saith unto him, 

" Follow me." 

Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 
Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, 

"We have found hira, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, 
did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." 

And Nathanael said unto him, 

" Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth 1 " 

Philip saith unto him, 

" Come and see." ^ 

eg- ^ '. ^ ^ 

' -a 


Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, •'"''^ >_4^-5i. 

" liehold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile ! " 

Nathanael saith imto him, 

" Whence knowest thou me ]" 

Jesus answered and saith unto him, 

" Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig-tree, 
I saw thee." 

Nathanael answered and saith unto him, 

" Rabbi, thou art the Son of God ; thou art the King of Israel." 

Jesus answered and said unto him, 

" Because I said imto thee ' I saw thee under the fig-tree,' believest 
thou % thou shalt see greater things than these." 

And he saith unto him, 

" Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven 
open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Sou 
of man." * 


The Marriage at Carta. — Journey to Jetnimlem. — The casting out of 
the Traders from the Tenfple. 

AND the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; John ii. i - lo. 
and the mother of Jesus was there : and both Jesus was called, 
and his disciples, to the marriage. 

And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, 

" They have no wine." 

Jesus saith unto her, 

" Woman, what have 1 to do with thee % mine hour is not yet 

His mother saith unto the servants, 

" Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it." 

And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the man- 
ner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins 

Jesus saith unto them, 

" Fill the watei'pots with water." 

And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, 

" Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast." 

And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the 
water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was : (but the 
servants which drew the water knew ;) the governor of the feast 
called the bridegroom, and saith unto him, 

"Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when 
men have well drunk, then that which is worse : but thou hast kept 
the good wine until now." * 

. ^ 

lD ■ — *-& 


John ii. 11-22. "phis beginning of miracles didJesus in Cana of Galilee, and mani- 
fested forth his glory ; and his disci})les V)elieved on him. 

After this he went down to Capernaum, lie, and his mother, and 
his brethren, and his disciples : and they continued there not many 

And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jeru- 
salem, and found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and 
doves, and the changers of money sitting : and when he had made 
a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and 
the sheep, and the oxen ; and poured out the changers' moneyjland 
overthrew the tables ; and said luito them that sold doves, 
a an 4 " Take these things hence ; make not my Fathers house * a ^ " 

house of merchandise." 

And his disciples remembered that it was written, 
fcPsalmlxix. 9. " The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up."* 

Then answered the Jews and said unto him, 

" What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these 
things % " 

Jesus answered and said unto them, 

" Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." 

Then said the Jews, 

" Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou 
rear it up in three days % " 

But he spake of the temple of his body. When therefore he was 
risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this 
unto them ; and they believed the scripture, and the word which 
Jesus had said.* 


Jesus and Nicodemus. — Further Testimony of the Baptist. 

John !i. 23-25. 
— iii.1-4. 

""VTOW when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast 
-^^ day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles 
which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, be- 
cause he knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of 
man : for he knew what was in man. 

There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of 
the Jews : the same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, 

" Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God : for 
no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with 

Jesus answered and said unto him, 

" Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be bom again, he 
cannot see the kingdom of God." 

Nicodemus saith unto him. 

^ g] 


" How can a man be boni when he is old % can he enter the second ^^^^ ""' ^ ' ^ 
time into his mother's womb, and be born 1 " 

Jesus answered, 

" Verily, verily, I say unto thee. Except a man be born of water 
and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That 
which is born of the flesh is flesh ; and that which is born of the 
Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said nnto thee, 'Ye must be born 
again.' The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the 
sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it 
goeth : so is every one that is born of the Spirit." 

Nicodemus answered and said unto him 

" How can these things be % " 

Jesus answered and said unto him, 

" Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things 1 
Verily, verily, I say unto thee. We speak that we do know, and 
testify that we have seen ; and ye receive not our witness. If I 
have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye be- 
lieve, if I tell you of heavenly things % And no man hath ascended 
up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son 
of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in 
tlie wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up ; that who- 
soever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 

" For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten 
Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have 
everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn 
the world ; but that the world through him might be saved. He 
that believeth on him is not condemned : but he that believeth not 
is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of 
the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that 
light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than 
light, becaiise their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil 
hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should 
be reproved. Biit he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his 
deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God." 

After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of 
Judica ; and there he tarried with them, and baptized. And John 
also was baptizing in ^non near to Salim, because there was much 
water there : and they came, and were baptized. For John was not 
yet cast into prison. 

Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and 
the Jews about purifying. And they came unto John, and said unto 

" Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou 
barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to 

John answered and said, 

" A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.* 






Johniii 28-36. 

Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ' I am not the Christ,' 
but I am sent before him. He that hath the bride is the bride- 
groom : but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth 
him, rejoiceth gi-eatly because of the bridegroom's voice : this my joy 
therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease. He 
that Cometh from above is above all : he that is of the earth is 
earthly, and speaketh of the earth : he that cometh from heaven is 
above all. And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth ; 
and no man receiveth his testimony. He that hath received his 
testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. For he whom God 
hath sent speaketh the words of God : for God giveth not the Spirit 
by measure unto him." 

The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his 
hand. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life : and he 
that believeth not the Son shall not see life ; but the wrath of God 
abideth on him.* 


Imprisonment of John the Dhptist. — Return of Jesus to Galilee. — 
Interview with the Woman of Samaria. 

Matt. iv. 12. 

— xiv. 3-5. 
Mark i. 14. 

— vi. 17-20. 
Luke hi. 19,20. 

— iv. 14. 
John iv. 1-6. 

a But. 3 for. 1 2 
ft had .sent. 2 
c had laid, i 
rf on.i 
e llerod. 8 
S her. 1 

h and. 1 
' he feared. 1 
k as. 1 
'an. 2 

m when.! 
n John.i 
o when there- 
fore. * 

j> came. 2 Jesus 
returned. 3 

"VTOW ^ ° Herod the tetrarch ^ himself ^ sent * forth and laid " 
-^^ hold upon ^ John, and ^ bound him, and put him in prison 
for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife ; ^ Herod ^ being re- 
proved by him for Herodias,^ (for he had married her,^) and for all 
the evils which * he ^ * had done, and ^ he ^ added yet this above 
all, that he shut up John in prison.* 

For John had said unto Herod,/ 

*' It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife." s 

Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have 
killed him ; but she could not : for Herod,^ * when he would have 
put him to death, feared ' the multitude, because they counted him 
for '' a prophet : and Herod also ^ feared John, knowing that he was 
a just man and^ a^' holy, and observed him; and when he heard 
him, he did many things and heard him gladly.^ 

Now after that John was put in prison,^ and"* Jesus had heard 
that^ he® "was cast into prison,^ and® when" the Lord knew how 
the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more dis- 
ciples than John, (though Jesus himself baptized not, but his dis- 
ciples,) he left Judaea, and departed again* and* returned^ in the 
power of the Spirit into Galilee.* 

And he must needs go tlu'ough Samaria. 

Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, 
near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 
Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with * 






his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth John iv^- 24. 


There cometh a woman of Samaria to di-aw water : Jesus saith 

unto her, 

" Give me to drink." 

(For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) 
Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, 

" How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which 
am a woman of Samaria 1 for the Jews have no dealings with the 

Jesus answered and said unto her, 

" If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to 
thee, ' Give me to drink ' ; thou wouldest have asked of him, and 
he would have given thee living water." 
The woman saith unto him, 

" Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep : 
from whence then hast thou that living water 1 Art thou greater 
than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof 
himself, and his children, and his cattle 1" 
Jesus answered and said unto her, 

" Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again : but who- 
soever driiiketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst ; 
but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water 
springing up into everlasting life." 
The woman saith unto him, 

" Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to 

Jesus saith unto her, 

" Go, call thy husband, and come hither." 
The woman answered and said, 
" I have no husband." 
Jesus said unto hei-, 

"Thou hast well said, 'I have no husband': for thou hast had five 
husbands ; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband : in that 
saidst thou truly." 

The woman saith unto him, 

" Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped 
in this mountain ; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where 
men ought to worship." 
Jesus saith unto her, 

" Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in 
this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye wor- 
ship ye know not what : we know what we worship : for salvation is 
of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true 
worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth : for the 
Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit : and they 
that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." * 



Johniv 25-45. The woman saith unto him, 

" I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ : when he is 
come, he will tell us all things." 

Jesus saith unto her, 

" I that speak unto thee am he." 

And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked 
with the woman : yet no man said, "What seekest thouT' or, "Why 
talkest thou with her 1 " The woman then left her waterpot, and 
went her way into the city, and saith to the men, 

" Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did : is 
not this the Christ ? " 

Then they went out of the city, and came unto him. 

In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, 

" Master, eat." 

But he said unto them, 

" I have meat to eat that ye know not of." 

Therefore said the disciples one to another, 

" Hath any man brought him ought to eat 1 " 

Jesus saith unto them, 

" My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his 
work. Say not ye, ' There are yet four months, and then cometh 
harvest 1 ' behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the 
fields ; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth 
receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit iinto life eternal : that both he 
that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. And herein 
is that saying true, ' One soweth and another reapeth.' I sent you 
to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labor : other men labored, and 
ye are entered into their labors." 

And many of the Saniaritans of that city believed on him for the 
saying of the woman, which testified, " He told me all that ever I 
did." So when the Samaritans were come mito him, they besought 
him that he would tarry with them : and he abode there two days. 
And many more believed because of his own word ; and said unto 
the woman, 

" Now we believe, not because of thy saying : for we have heard 
him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour 
of the world." 

Now after two days he departed thence, and went into Galilee. 
For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honor in his own 
country. Then when he was come into Galilee, the Galileans re- 
ceived him, having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at 
the feast : for they also went unto the feast.* 

eg-. . : ^g] 



The Preaching of Jesus in Galilee. — Several Miracles. — Calling of 
several Disciples. 

la +I10 frn=r,ol nf tlin Vino-- M''^">':1"- 

FROM that time Jesus began to preach ^^ the gospel of the kmg- M^rk-'il^'is. 
dom of God,2 aj^d to say/ ^ I'^l l; iJl^^ 

*' The time is fulfilled, and " the kingdom of God ^ is at hand : „ pn-adii^g. 2 
repent ye, and believe the gospel.'' ^ 6 saying, s 

And there went oiit a fame of him through all the region round- d heaven. 1 
about. And he taught in their synagogvies, being gloi'ified of all.^ 

So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the 
water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick 
at Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea 
into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would 
come down, and heal his son : for he was at the point of death. , 

Then said Jesus unto him, 

" Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe." 

The nobleman saith unto him, 

" Sir, come down ere my child die." 

Jesus saith unto him, 

" Go thy way ; thy son liveth." 

And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, 
and he went his way. And as he was now going down, his servants 
met him, and told him, saying, 

" Thy son liveth." 

Then inquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. 
And they said unto him, 

" Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him." 

So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which 
Jesus said unto him, " Thy son liveth " : and himself believed, and 
his whole house. This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, 
when he was come out of Judsea into Galilee.* 

And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up : and, 
as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, 
and stood up for to read. And there was delivered imto him the 
book of the prophet ^ Isaiah.^ * And when he had opened the book, e Esaias. 3 
he found the place where it was written, 

"The Spirit of the Lord is ujion me, 
Because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor ; 
He hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, 
To preach deliverance to the captives, 
And recovering of sight to the blind, 
To set at liberty them that are bmised, 
To preach the acceptable year of the Lord." *^ /Isdah Ixi. 1,2. 






Matt. iv. 13-16, 

Mark i. 16. 
Luke iv. 20-31. 

-■ V. 1-4. 

6 Sarepta. s 
c Sidon. 3 
d Ellseus.3 

e Zabulon . i 
g Esaias. i 

A Isaiah is. 1, 2. 

And he closed the book, and he gcave it again to the minister, 
and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the syna- 
gogue were fastened on him. 

And he began to say unto them, 

" This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears." 

And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words 
which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, 

" Is not this Joseph's son % " 

And he said unto them, 

" Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, * Physician, heal thy 
self : 'Whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here 
in thy country. ' " 

And he said, 

" Verily I say unto you, no prophet is accepted in his own country. 
But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days 
of^ Elijah,^" when the heaven was shut up three years and six 
months, when great famine was throughout all the land ; but unto 
none of them was^ Elijah^" sent, save unto* Zarephath^'' a city 
of^ Zidon,^*^ unto a woman that was a widow. And many lepers 
were in Israel in the time of^ Elisha^'^ the prophet; and none of 
them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian." 

And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were 
filled with wrath, and rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and 
led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that 
they might cast him down headlong. But he passing through the 
midst of them went his way, and * leaving Nazareth, he ^ came down 
to ^ and dwelt in Capernaum,^ a city of Galilee,* which is upon the 
sea-coast, in the borders of ^ Zebulun ^ ' and ^ Naphtali : ^f that it 
might be fulfilled which was spoken by^ Isaiah ^s" the prophet, 

And the land of* Naplitali s/ 
By the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, 
Galilee of the Gentiles ; 

The people which sat in darkness saw great light ; 

And to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung 
up." * 

And Jesus, walking *" by the sea of Galilee,* saw ' two brethren, 

i now as he 
walked. 2 

i-iake of Genne- Simon Called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the 

saret.3 ' , , 

« he saw. 2 sea : for they were fishers.^ And* wheii^ they^'" were gone out 

in the fishermen. 3 
n them. 3 

o the ships. 3 

sea : for they were fishers.^ And * when ® they ^ '" 
of * their ships,® " and were washing their nets,* it came to pass 
that * the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God.* And * 
as * he stood by the lake,*^ and saw * the ® two ships standing by the 
lake,* he entered into one of* them,^° which was Simon's, and prayed 
him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat 
down and taught the people out of the ship. 

Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon,* 




"Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught." I!|"*k /.""iy^i^" 
And Simon answering said unto him, ^^"^ v^;4^1n.'* 

" Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing : 
nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net." 

And when they had this done, they enclosed a great multitude 
of fishes : and their net brake And they beckoned unto their part- 
ners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help 
them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began 
to sink. 

When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, 
" Depart from me ; for I am a sinful man, Lord." 
For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught 
of the fishes which they had taken : and so was also James, and 
John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. 

And Jesus said " unto ^ them,^ * h Simon. 3 

"Fear not ; ^ come ye after •= me, and I will^ from hencefortn^ cfoUow.i 
ike you to become fishers of "^ men." ^ catch. » 

And when they had brought their ships to land, they ^ straight- 

w^av ^ forsook * all/ and followed him.^ ^J^*^;^ , ,„ 

./ ' , / their nets. » - 

And when he had gone a little further «' thence,^ he saw the" » going on from.i 
other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his broth- 
er,^ who also were in the ^ other ^ * ship with Zebedee their father, '-a.i the. 2 
mending their nets.^ And straightway he called them : and they ^ 
immediately left the ship and their father^ Zebedee in the ship wnth 
the hired servants, and went after' him.^ i followed. 1 

And they went into Capernaum ; and straightway on the sabbath^ 
days^*" he entered into the synagogue and taught.' And they were , ^ugi^'t them. 3 
astonished at his doctrine : for he taught them as one that had 
authority, and not as the scribes,^ for his word was with power.^ 

And there was in their "* synagogue a man which had a spirit of m the s 
an unclean devil ;^ " and he cried out ^ with a loud voice,^ saying, « with an unclean 

" Let us alone ; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of 
Nazareth i Art thou come to destroy us 1 I know thee who thou 
art, the Holy One of God." 

And Jesus rebuked him, saying, 

" Hold thy peace, and come out of him." ^ 

And when the devil" had^ torn him,^ and' thrown him in the " unclean spirit. 3 
midst,^ and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him,^ and hurt 
him not.^ 

And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned^ among pspaica.s 
themselves, saying, 

" What thing is this ? What new doctrine is this 1 ^ And what a 
word is this ! For with authority and power ^ commandeth he even 
the unclean spirits, and they do obey him,^ and come out." ^ 

And immediately his fame' spread abroad throughout all the re- 3 the fame of him. 
gion round about Galilee,^ and^ went out into every place of the 
country round about.* 




Matt, viii.14-17. 
Mark i. 29-39. 
Luke iv. 38-44. 

a Jesus was. l 
h Petor's house. * 

Simon's house. * 
c Ana.3 
</ his. 1 
e sick of a fever. 1 

laid and sick of.^ 
/he saw. l 
g touched her. i 
h it. 3 

• and immediate- 
ly, a 

I: Now. 3 

I the even was 

come. 1 

the sun was 

setting. 3 
m all that were 

diseased. 2 
n them . 2 
o every one of 

them. ■■' 

many that were 

sick of divers 

diseases. 2 
p Esaias. i 
q Isaiah liii. 4. 
r the spirits, l 
s also came out of 

many . 3 
t the devils. 2 
« because. 2 

Kj when it was 

day. 3 
X desert, s 


z their. 
« of. 3 

And ho ai'ose out of the synagogue,® and forthwith when they 
were " come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of 
Simon ^ and Andrew, with James and John.^ 

But "^ Simon's "^ wife's mother ^ was taken with a great fever, and ^ 
lay sick,^ ' and anon they tell him of/ her,^ and besought him for 
her.® And he came^ and stood over her,® and took her by tiles' 
hand, and lifted her up,^ and rebuked the fever ; ' and immediately 
the fever * left her, and she ^ arose and ® ' ministered unto them. 

And at even,*^ when the sun did set,- ' all they that had any sick 
with divers diseases brought them"* unto him,® and^ also® many" 
that were possessed with devils.^ And all the city was gathered to- 
gether at the door. And he^ laid his hands on® all that w^ere sick^" 
and healed ^ them : ^ that it might be fulfilled which was spoken 
by ^ Isaiah ^p the prophet, saying, 

" Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses." 9 

And he cast out^ many devils ^'' with his word ;^ and® the ^ devils 
came out * crying out, and saying, 

" Thou art Christ the Son of God." 

And he rebuking them suffered them' not to speak: for" they 
knew ® him,'^ that he was Christ.® 

And in the morning,"' rising up a great while before day, he went 
out, and departed into a solitary* place, and there prayed.^ And the 
people sought him.® And Simon and they that were with him fol- 
lowed after him. And when they had found him, they said unto 

" All men seek for thee." ^ 

And ® the people * came unto him, and stayed him, that he should 
not depart from them.® 

And he said unto them, 

" I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also : for 
therefore am I sent." ® 

And he said unto^ Simon and they that were with him,^2/ 

" Let us go into the next tow^ns, that I may preach there also : for 
therefore came I forth." 

And he preached in'^ the®' synagogues throughout all" Galilee, 
and cast out devils.^ 


Healing of a Leper, and of a Paralytic. 

Matt. iv. 23, 24. A ND Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, 
--^^J^ and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all man- 
ner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. And 
his fame went throughout all Syria : and they brought unto him all 
sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and ^ 




those which were possessed with devils, and those which were hma- '^^^: 
tic and those that had the palsy ; and he healed them. And there ^^,^,,0-45. 
followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Lukev! 12-21. 
Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Jud«)a, and from beyond 

Jordan.^ . . ,1113 

And it came to pass when he was in a certam city, behold a ^^^^^^^^^^ 

leper,- who seeing Jesus,« came- to him,^ and^ fell on his face, ^.ep.^^^^^ 

and worshipped him,^ and besought ^ him, saymg unto him, ^ kneeUng^down 

" Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean." « , . " ieseechiog. ^ 

And Jesus,' moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and ^he.^3^^^^^ ^^^^ 

touched him,= saying,^/ ^^-^ 

" I will ; be thou clean." 
And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed 

, . <7 his leprosy, l 

from him, and he s was cleansed. 

And he * straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away ; and Jesus. 

saith unto him, -u t t teii no. 1 to 

-See thou say nothing to any' man: but go thy way, shew ,,„,„. 3 
thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which ^--^jj-^^ , 
Moses commanded for a testimony unto them." according as. ^ 

But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze 
abroad the matter,^ and« so much the more went there a fame ^^^^ 
abroad of^ Jesus,^"' that^" he 6° could no more openly enter into „i„,„^„,hthati! 
the city,^ for«^ great multitudes ^ came together « to him from^ ".e--^ 
every quarter.^ to hear, and to be healed by him of their mhrmities. , ^hey.-- 
And he withdrew himself into«- desert places== in^ the wilderness, r was without ... 

and' there ^ prayed.^ ^ k a ■,. 

And again he entered into Capernaum, after some days. And it 
came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that« it was 
noised that he was in the house. And straightway many were gath- 
ered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, 
not so much as about the door : and he preached the word unto 
them And ^ there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, 
which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and 
Jerusalem : and the power of the Lord was present to heal them « they brought .^ 
And, behold,' they come ^ unto' him, bringmg^ a man,^" sick ot ^^^^^i ^ 
the "• palsy ^ lyin<' on ' a bed ^ which was borne of four : ^ and they ^"^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^, 
sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him. And ^^euwUha.3 
when they could not find by what way they might bring him^ m!/ , eorne „igh unto 
because of the multitude,' they went upon the housetop, and un- ,fo,,^,p,ess 2 
covered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, « X';?:in\t';' 
they let ^ him down through the tiling with his« bed ^ « into the midst .icUofthepaisy 
before Jesus. And when he ^ saw <= their faith, he said unto the sick m.u..^ 

of thepalsy,^'' „3 ^J;'™-' 

" Son ' be of good cheer ; thy sins ^ are/ forgiven thee." '^ ^^^^ 

And, behold,'^ the'' scribes and Pharisees « who were^ sitting ^^buuhen,were.3 

there 2 began to reason « ' in their hearts,^ and said withm them- ,,,^,„„i„.., 

^ k sayiug. * 





Matt, ix 3-9. 
Mark ii. 7 -14. 
Luke V. 21-28. 

a only. 2 
h But. 3 
c their thoughts .3 

d what, s 

e Rise up. 3 
/upon. 3 
!7 said. 3 
A unto. 3 
t couch. 3 

k unto. 1 3 
I rose up 3 
7)1 anil took. 3 
n that. 3 

o insomuch that. 

And. 3 
V were all 

amazed 2 3 

q Jesus. 1 
r forth from 

thence, l 
« man. i 
t Matthew. 1 
« iiaith. 1 
w rose up. 3 

" This man blasphemetli." ^ 

" Who is this which speaketh blasphemies 1 " ^ 

" Why doth tliis man thus speak blasphemies ] " 

" Who can forgive sins, but God alone ] " ^ « 

And immediately* when Jesus^ (knowing their thoughts)' per- 
ceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves,'^ he, 
answering,^ said unto them,'^ 

"Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts'?' AikH why ** reason 
ye these things in your hearts 1 ^ For,' whether is it easier to say 
to the sick of the palsy, ' Thy sins be forgiven thee ' ; or to say, 
* Arise,* and take up thy bed, and walk ' 1 But that ye may know 
that the Son of man hath power on/ earth to forgive sins/' ^ 

Then saith s" he to * the sick of the palsy,' 

" I say unto th«e, Arise, and take up thy bed,* and go thy way 
into ^ thine house." 

And immediately he arose,' took"' up the bed^" whereon he lay,* 
and went forth before them all,^ and departed to his own house, 
glorifying God.^ But" when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled,'^ 
and were filled with fear,^ and glorified God, which had given such 
power unto men,' saying, 

" We never saw it on this fashion." ^ 

" We have seen strange things to-day." ^ 

And after these things,^ he went forth again by the seaside ; and 
all the multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them. And 
as he ' i^assed by,*" he saw ^ a publican * named * Levi ' the son of 
Alpheus sitting at the receipt of custom, and ^ he ® said " imto him, 

"Follow me." 

And he arose,^"" left all,^ and followed him.^ 


Healing of a Man on the Sabbath, and consequent Discussion. 

John V. 1 - 6. 

AFTER this there was a feast of the Jews ; and Jesus went up 
to Jerusalem. 
Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is 
called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. Tn 
these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, with- 
ered, waiting for the moving of the water. (For an angel went 
down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water : 
whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was 
made whole of whatsoever disease he had.) And a certain man was 
there, which had an infirmity thirt}^ and eight years. When Jesus 
saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that 
case, he saith unto him,* 


a- — ^ " 


" Wilt thou be made whole % " •'"'^° !_i"^- 

The impotent man answered him, 

" Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into 
the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before 

Jesus saith unto him, 

" Rise, take up thy bed, and walk." 

And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, 
and walked : and on the same day was the sabbath. 

The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, 

"It is the sabbath day : it is not lawful for thee to cany thy 

He answered them, 

" He that made me whole, the same said unto me, ' Take up thy 
bed, and walk.' " 

Then asked they him, 

" What man is that which said unto thee, ' Take up thy bed, and 


And he that was healed wist not who it was : for Jesus had con- 
veyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. 

Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, 
" Behold, thou art made whole : sin no more, lest a worse thing 
come unto thee." 

The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which 
had made him whole. And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, 
and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the 
sabbath day. 

But Jesus answered them, 
" My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." 

Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not • 
only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his 
Father, making himself equal with God. 
Then answered Jesus and said unto them, 

" Verily, verily, I say unto you. The Son can do nothing of him- 
self, but what he seeth the Father do : for what things soever he 
doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth 
the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth : and he 
will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For 
as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them ; even so 
the Son quickeneth whom he will. For the Father judgcth no man, 
but hath committed all judgment unto the Son : that all men 
shoidd honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that 
honoreth not the Son, honoreth not the Father which hath sent 

" Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that hcarcth my word, and 
believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not 
come into condemnation ; but is passed from death unto life.-* 

^ S 



John T. 25-47. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, 

when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God : and they 
that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so 
hath he given to the Son to have life in himself ; and hath given 
him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of 
man. Marvel not at this : for the hour is coming, in the which all 
that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth ; 
they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life ; and they 
that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. 

"I can of mine own self do nothing : as I hear, I judge : and my 
judgment is just ; because I seek not mine own will, but the will 
of the Father which hath sent me. 

" If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. There 
is another that beareth witness of me ; and I know that the wit- 
ness which he witnesseth of me is true. Ye sent unto John, and 
he bare witness unto the truth. But I receive not testimony from 
man : but these things I say, that ye might be saved. He was a 
burning and a shining light : and ye were willing for a season to 
rejoice in his light. But I have greater witness than that of John : 
for the works which tlie Father hath given me to finish, the same 
works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. 
And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness 
of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his 
shape. And ye have not his word abiding in you : for whom he 
hath sent, him ye believe not. Search the scriptures ; for in them 
ye think ye have eternal life : and they are they which testify of 
me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. I re- 
ceive not honor from men. But I know you, that ye have not the 
love of God in you. I am come in my Father's name, and ye 
receive me not : if another shall come in his own name, him ye 
will receive. How can ye believe, which receive honor one of 
another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only ? Do 
not think that I will accuse you to the Father : there is one that 
accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed 
Moses, 3'e would have believed me : for he wrote of me. But if ye 
believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words 1"^ 


.. , Christ's Teachinn as to the Sabbath. — The Ordination of the Twelve 

Matt. xii. I. '^ -' 

JIark ii 23. ApOStUs. 

Luke vi. 1. 

ft on the sabbath A ^^ '* Came to pass ^ at that time,^ being ^" the second sabbath * 
t'^^'^ \ ' -^--^ after the first, that ^ Jesus " went ^ through the corn ^ fields ; ^ 

c he. 2 3 ' o ;> 

d^vLA and his disciples were^ a^*^ hungred, and began,^ as they went,^ to ^ 

^ i 





Matt, xii 1-13 
Mark ii. 23-28. 

— iii. 1-5. 
Luke vi. 1 - 10. 

a plucked. 3 
6 did. 3 
c And. 3 
d them. » 
e on. 2 3 
/days. 3 
»ye. 3 
ft And. 2 3 
t he. 1 2 
A" never. 2 
' himself. 3 
m that. 1 2 
n Wiis an. 12 3 
o went. 2 3 
;j is. 2 3 
q alone. 3 

pluck " the ears of com, and to ' eat,^ rubbing them in their hands.^ 
But when ^ " certain of ^ the Pharisees saw it tlicy said unto him/ 

" Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon ' 
the sabbath dm}f Why do they ^ ? do so '? " ^ 

But^* Jesus,' answering,^ said unto them, 

" Have ye not * read ^ so much as this,^ what David did, when 
he ^ ' and they which "* were with him ^ were a ® " hungred,^ and ^ 
had need 1^ how he entered ° into the house of God,^ in the days of 
Abiathar the high-priest,'^ and did take and eat the shewbread, and 
gave also to them that were with him ;^ wdiich it was? not lawful 
for him to eat, neither for them which were w ith him, but only ' 
for the priests 1 Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the 
sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are 
blameless ] But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater 
than the temple. But if ye had known what this meaneth, 

" 'I will liave mercy, and not sacrifice,' 

ye w^ould not have condemned the guiltless." ^ 

And he said unto them, 

" The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath : 
therefore'' the Son of man is Lord also* of the sabbath^ day."^ 

And it came to pass also on another sabbath,^ when he was de- 
parted thence,^ that he entered^ again ^ into the' synagogue and ' went into their.i 
taught : and,^ behold, thei'e was a man ^ there ^ whose right hand 
was withered.^" And they asked him, saying, 

" Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days 1 ".^ 

And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would 
heal ^ him ^ on the sabbath day ; that they might find an accu- 
sation against™ him. 

But he knew their thoughts, and said to ^ the man which had the 
withered hand, 

" Rise up, and stand forth in the midst." 

And he arose and stood forth. 

Then said Jesus unto * them, 

" I will ask you one thing ; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to 
do good, or to do eviH to save life, or to destroy iti " ^^ 

But they held their peace. And he said unto them, 

" What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, 
and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on 
it, and lift it out 1 How much then is a man better than a sheep 1 
Wlierefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.^ " 

And when he had looked ^ round about on " them ^ all ^ with 
anger,^ being grieved for the hardness of their hearts he saith * unto " 
the man, 

" Stretch forth thine '^ hand." 

And he stretched it out : ^ and bis hand/ was restored whole 
like' as the other.^ 

r For. 1 That. 3 
s even. i 

« which had his 
hand withered.l 
which had a 
withered hand. 2 

w accuse, i - 
a- and he saith 

y kiU. 2 

2 then 1 looking.3 
o upon. 3 
f> said. 3 
c to. 1 

<l thy. 3 

e tlid S0.3 forth.i 

/it. 1 






Matt. X 2-4. 

— xii.U-21. 
Mark iii. 6 - 19. 
Luke vi. 11 - 17. 

" And they. 3 

'' forth, i 

c held a council 
against hlni. 

d a great multi- 
tude 2 

e E.saias. i 

/Isaiah slii.1-3. 

V goeth up. 

h calleth. 

t and. 2 

k surnamed. * 

I his?. 1 

"1 which. 2 

« was the traator.' 

Then tlie Pharisees ^ " were filled with madness ; ^ and ^ went out ^ * 
and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus,^*^ 
and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how 
they might destroy him.^ 

But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself,^ with his disciples,^ 
from thence,^ to the sea ; ^ and great multitudes ^ ^ from Galilee 
followed him, and from Judtea, and from Jerusalem, and from 
Idumea, and from beyond Jordan ; and they about Tyre and Sidon, 
a great multitude, when they had heard what great things he did, 
came unto him,^ and he healed them all.^ 

And he spake to his disciples, that a small ship should wait on 
him because of the multitude, lest they should throng him. For 
he had healed many ; insomuch that they pi'essed upon him for 
to touch him, as many as had plagues. And unclean spirits, when 
they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, 

" Thou art the Son of God ! " 

And he straitly charged them that they should not make him 
known : ^ that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by ^ Isaiah ^ * 
the prophet, saying, 

"Behold my servant, whom I have chosen ; 
My beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased : 
I will put my spirit upon him. 
And he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. 
He shall not strive, nor cry ; 

Neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. 
A bruised reed shall he not break, 
And smoking flax shall he not quench. 
Till he send forth judgment unto victory. 
And in his name shall the Gentiles trust." ^ 

And it came to pass in those days, that he went out ^ into a 
mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And 
when it was day, he called* unto him ^ whom he would^of^his 
disciples ; ^ and they came unto him : ^ and of them he chose ® and ^ 
ordained ^ twelve, whom also he named apostles ; * that they should 
be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, and to 
have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils.'^ 

Now the names of the twelve apostles are these ; the first,^ * 
Simon, whom he also named,^ *" and ^ who is called Peter, and An- 
drew his brother ; and James the son of Zebedee, and John the ' 
brother of James ; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is " The 
sons of thunder";^ and Philip and Bartholomew; and Matthew^ 
the publican ; ^ and Thomas, and James the son of Alpheus, and 
Judas ^ or^ Lebbeus, whose surname was Thaddeus,^ the brother 
of James ; ^ and Simon the Canaanite,^ called Zelotes,^ and Judas 
Iscariot,^ who "* also betrayed him.^ " 

And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the 
company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all 
Judsea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon,* 


^ Q^ 


xvhich came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases; and L^i^e-j^v-io. 
tliey that were vexed with unclean spirits : and they were healed. 
And the whole multitude sought to touch him : for there went 
virtue out of him, and healed them all.^ 



The Sermon on the Mount. 

ND seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain : and LukU^'.loH'e. 
when he was set, his disciples came unto him.^ And he 
lifted up his eyes on his disciples,^ and ^ opened his mouth, and 
taught them, saying," « said. 3^ 

"Blessed are the* poor in spirit: for theirs' is the kingdom l^:^J^\ 

of heaven.'' ^^^t' 

"Blessed are they' that mourn'/ now :^ for they' shall be com- ^,.„,.p.3 

g laugh. 3 


" Blessed are the meek : for they shall inherit the earth. ^ ^^ ^ 

" Blessed are they '' which ' do hunger and thirst after righteous- , that.* 
ness ' now : ^ for they * shall be filled. 

" Blessed are the merciful : for they shall obtain mercy. 

" Blessed are the pure in heart : for they shall see God. 

" Blessed are the peacemakers : for they shall be called the chil- 
dren of God. 

" Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake : 

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

"Blessed are ye, when men shall ^ hate,^ revile,' and persecute 

vou and when they shall separate you from their company, and 

•/' '' t.•■^•l.lce^^^ cast out yotir 

shall reproach you, and^ say all manner of evil against you talsely, nameasevu.; 
for my' sake. Rejoice ^ ye in that day, and leap for joy,« and be ''^^^^f 
exceeding glad : for' behold,' great is your reward in heaven : for' 
in like- manner did their fathers unto" the prophets' which ^'^^^^^^^^ 
were before you ! ' • ej 

" But woe unto you that are rich ! for ye have received your 

" Woe unto you that are full ! for ye shall hunger, 

" Woe unto you that laugh now ! for ye shall mourn and weep. 

" Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you ! for so 
did their fathers to the false prophets.' 

" Ye are the salt of the earth : but if the salt have lost his savor, 
wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but 
to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. 

"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on' a 6° hill oan.t 
cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under 
a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that^ 






siatt.T. 15-35. are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they 
may see your good works, and glorify yoiu' Father Avhich is in 

" Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the projjhets : 
I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto 
you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle sliall in no 
wise pass from the law, till all l)e fulfilled. Whosoever therefore 
shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men 
so, he shall-be called the least in the kingdom of heaven : but who- 
soever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in 
the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you. That except your 
righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Phari- 
sees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. 

" Ye have heard that it was said by tliem of old time, ' Thou 
shalt not kill ; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the 
judgment': but I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his 
brother without a cause shall bs in danger of the judgment : and 
whosoever sh;iJl say to his brother, ' Raca,' shall be in danger of 
the council : but whosoever shall say, ' Thou fool,' shall be in dan- 
ger of hell fire. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and 
there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee ; leave 
there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way ; first be reconciled to 
thy brother, and then come and ofter thy gift. Agree with tliine 
adversary qriickly, whiles thou art in the way with him ; lest at any 
time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver 
thee to the oihcer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto 
thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid 
the uttermost farthing. 

" Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, ' Thou 
shalt not commit adultery ' : but I say unto you. That whosoever 
looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with 
her already in his heart. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck 
it out, and cast it from thee : for it is profitable for thee that one 
of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should 
be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, 
and cast it from thee : for it is profitable for thee that one of thy 
members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be 
cast into hell. 

" It hath been said, ' '\^^lC3oever shall put away his wife, let him 
give her a writing of divorcement ' : but I say unto you. That 
whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of forni- 
cation, causeth her to commit adultery : and whosoever shall marry 
her that is divorced committeth adultery. 

" Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, 
' Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord 
thine oaths ' : but I say unto you, Swear not at all ; neither by 
heaven; for it is God's throne: nor by the earth; for it is his^ 


a -ft 


footstool : neither by Jerusalem ; for it is the city of the gi'cat King. Matt. v. 3.5-48. 
Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make ^^^ ^'- 27-30, 
one hair white or black. But let your communication be * Yea,' — 

'j-ea'; 'Nay,' 'nay'; for whatsoever is more than these cometh 
of evil. 

" Ye have heard that it hath been said, ' An eye for an cjc, and 
a tooth for a tooth ' : but I say luito you, That ye resist not evil : 
but whosoever shall smite" thee on thy ri<i;ht'' cheek, turn to him'' a unto him that 

'' ~ ' smiteth. 3 

the other also. And if any man'' will sue thee at the law, and * the one. s 
take' away thy coat,/ let him haves' thy cloke * also. And whoso- f/hi„,.3 
ever shall compel thee to go a mile, s^o with him twain. Give to ^ t'l^it t=iketii- ^ 
him' that asketh ^ of^ thee, and from him that would borrow of & forbid not to 
thee turn not thou away.^ And of him that taketh away thy goods n coat, s 
ask them not again.^ ' '^''^ '"''"• ' 

" Ye have heard that it hath been said, ' Thou shalt love thy 
neighbor, and hate thine enemy.' But I say unto you which 
hear, Love your enemies,^ bless them that curse you, do good to 
them that*^ hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, t which, s 
and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father 
which is in heaven : for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and 
on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For 
if ye love them which love you, what reward' have ye'?^ for sinners ? thank. 3 
also love those that love them.^ Do not even the publicans the 
same 1 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than 
others 1 Do not even the publicans so 1 ^ And if ye do good to 
them which do good to you, what thank have ye 1 For sinners also 
do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to 
receive, what thank have ye 1 For sinners also lend to sinners, to 
receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, 
and lend, hoping for nothing again ; and your reward shall be great, 
and ye shall be the children of the Highest : for he is kind unto 
the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your 
Father also is merciful.^ And ^ be ye ^ perfect, even as your Father 
which is in heaven is perfect. 

" Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of 
them : otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in 
heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a 
trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in 
the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto 
you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not 
thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth : that thine alms 
may be in secret : and thy Father which seeth in secret himself 
shall rewai'd thee openly. 

" And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are : 
for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the cor- 
ners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say 
unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest,-' 

^ ^ ^ 




Matt. vi^-.30. enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to 
thy Father which is in secret ; and thy Father which seeth in secret 
shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repe- 
titions, as the heathen do : for they think that they shall be heard 
for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them : for 
your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask 
him. After this manner therefore pray ye : — 

"Our Fatlier which art in heaven, 
Hallowed be thy name. 
Thy kingdom come. 

Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 
Give us this day our daily bread. 
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil : 
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. 
Amen . 

" For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father 
will also forgive you : but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, 
neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. 

" Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad coun- 
tenance : for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto 
men to fost. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 
But thou, when tliou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face ; 
that thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which 
is in secret : and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward 
thee openly. 

" Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and 
rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal : but 
lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor 
rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor 
steal : for w^here your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The 
light of the body is the eye : if therefore thine eye be single, thy 
whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy 
whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that 
is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness ! No man can 
serve two masters : for either he will hate the one, and love the 
other ; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye 
cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say unto you. Take 
no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink ; 
nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more 
than meat, and the body than raiment ] Behold the fowls of the 
air ; for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns ; 
yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better 
than they ] Which of you by taking thoxight can add one cubit 
unto his stature 1 And why take ye thought for raiment 1 Con- 
sider the lilies of the field, how they grow ; they toil not, neither do 
they spin : and yet I say unto you, That even Soloriion in all his 
glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so ^ 




clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-moiTow is cast *^^' ^|; ^~^- 

into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, ye of little Liikevi 31,37 - 

faith ] Therefore take no thought, saying ' What shall we eat 1 ' or, — 

'What shall we drink]' or, ' AVherewithal shall we be clothed]' 

(for after all these things do the Gentiles seek :) for your heavenly 

Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek 

ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness ; and all these 

things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for 

the moiTow : for the morrow shall take thought for the things of 

itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. 

"Judge not, and ye shall not be " judged.^ For with what judg- « that ye be not.i 
ment ye judge, ye shall be judged :^ condemn not, and ye shall not 
be condemned : forgive, and ye shall be forgiven : give, and it shall 
be given unto you ; good measure, pressed down, and shaken to- 
gether, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For* tAnd 1 
with the same " measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured e what. 1 
to you again." 

And he spake a parable unto them, 

"Can the blind lead the blind] Shall they not both fall into ' 
the ditch ] The disciple is not above his master : but every one . 
that is perfect shall be as his master. And why beholdest thou the 
mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivesf* not the beam ^'^^n^Jwest.i 
that is in thine own eye] Either* how canst/ thou say to thy /wiit.i 
brother, 'Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in^^ thine eye,' » out of.' 
when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that * is in thine own '' '{."a^,'"!'"'''^' ^ 
eye ] Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, 
and then shalt thou see clearly to pull ' out the mote that is in s i cast. 1 
thy brother's eye.^ 

" Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your 
pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and 
turn again and rend you. 

" Ask, and it shall be given you ; seek, and ye shall find ; knock, 
and it shall be opened unto you : for every one that asketh recciv- 
eth ; and he that seeketh findeth ; and to him that knocketh it shall 
be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, 
will he give him a stone ] Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a 
serpent ] If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto 
your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven 
give good things to them that ask him] Therefore all things 
whatsoever ^ ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to i- And a.s. 3 
them : ' for this is the law and the prophets. ' "ukewise^i"" 

" Enter ye in at the strait gate : for wide is the gate, and broad is 
the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go 
in thereat : because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which 
leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of fiilse 
prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they 
are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits.* For^ 




Matt. vii. 16-29. 
Luke vi. 43-49. 

a For of thoras 
men do not 
gather fijjs. •'' 

t nar of a bram- 
ble bush gather 
they grapes. •* 

'• bringeth not. 3 

<' corrupt. 3 

c doth. 3 

./"my saying.s. ^ 

sliken him unto. l 
J> an. 3 
' upon. 1 

k flood arose. 3 

/ And.' 
'" he. 3 

n shall be likened 
unto. 1 

that. 3 
1> an. 3 

1 earth. 3 

r against which.3 

.« ruin. 3 

t that house. 3 

every tree is known by his own fruit.^ Do men gather grapes of 
thorns," or figs of tliistles?* Even so every good tree bringeth forth 
good fruit ; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good 
tree cannot bring "^ forth evil'' fruit, neither can' a cori'upt tree 
bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good 
fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their 
fruits ye shall know them.^ A good man out of the good treasure 
of his heart bringeth forth that which is good ; and an evil man 
out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is 
evil : for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. 

" And why call ye me, * Lord, Lord,' and do not the things which I 
say 1^ Not every one that saith unto me, ' Lord, Lord,' shall enter 
into the kingdom of heaven ; but he that doeth the will of my 
Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, ' Lord, 
Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name ? and in thy name have 
cast out devils 1 and in thy name done many wonderful works ? ' 
And then will I profess unto them, ' I never knew you : depart 
from me, ye that work iniquity.' 

" Therefore whosoever.^ cometh to me, and ^ heareth these sayings 
of mine,/ and doeth them, I w'ill ^ shew you to whom he is like : 
he is likeS' a^ wise man, which built his* house,' and digged deep, 
and laid the foundation on ' a rock : and when the * rain descended, 
and the floods came,*" and the winds blew,' and ^ the stream beat 
vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it : ^ it fell not, 
for it was founded upon a rock.' But ^ ' every one "' that heareth 
these sayings of mine, and doeth them not,' is like ^" a foolish man, 
which" built his^ house,' without a foundation,* upon the sand : ' 
and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, 
and ' "■ the stream did beat vehemently * upon that house ; and ' im- 
mediately it fell ;* and great was the fall* of it." ' 

And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the 
people were astonished at his doctrine : for he taught them as one 
having authority, and not as the scribes.^ 


The Healing of the Centurionh Servant, and the Raising of the 
Widoiv's Son at Nain. 

Matt. viij. 1, 5. "A.T'OW whcn ^ Jesus ' " had ended all his sayings in the audience 

Luke vii. 1-3. X^ 

— --^^ of the people,^ and' was come down from the mountain, 

« he. 3 
«-■ was. 1 

great multitudes followed him,' and ' he " entered into Caper- 

And a certain centurion's servant, who was dear unto him, was 
there came, i yicij^ autj ready to die. And when he heard of Jesus, he sent ^ *' 




unto him the elders of the Jews," beseeching him that he would Luke7ii"3^r^ 
come and heal his servant,^ and saying, aacenuirion.i 

" Lord, my servant lieth at home, sick of the palsy, grievously 
tormented." ^ 

And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, say- 
ing, that he was worthy for whom he should do this : " For he 
loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue." * 

And Jesus saith unto ' them,^ * ft him.i 

" I will come and heal him." ^ 

Then Jesus went with them. 

And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion 
sent friends to him,^ saying unto him, '"'lailT'^ ""'^ 

" Lord, trouble not thyself : for I am not worthy that thou 
shouldest enter "^ under my roof: wherefore neither thought I ni}'- rfcome.i 
self worthy to come unto thee: but ^ speak the* word only, and « say in a. 3 
my servant shall be healed. For I also am a man set under 
authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one,/ 'Go,' / to this man 1 
and he goeth ; and to another, ' Come,' and he cometh ; and to 
my servant, ' Do this,' and he doeth it." 

When Jesus heard these things,^' he marvelled at him, and turned git.i 
him about, and said unto the people* that followed him,^ /-to them. 1 

" Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not 
in Israel. And I say unto yoii, That many shall come from the 
east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and 
Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the king- 
dom shall be cast out into outer darkness : there shall be weep- 
ing and gnashing of teeth." 

And Jesus said unto ^ them that were sent by ^ the centurion, 

"Go^ your ^ ' way 3 and ^ say,^ 'As thou hast believed, so be it tthy.i 
done unto thee.' " ^ 

And his servant was healed in the self-same hour.^ And they 
that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that 
had been sick. 

And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city 
called Nain ; and many of his disciples went with him, and 
much people. Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, 
behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of hia 
mother, and she was a widow : and much people of the city was 
with her. 

And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said 
xmto her, 

" Weep not." 

And he came and touched the bier : and they that bare him 
stood still. And he said, 

" Young man, I say unto thee, Arise." 

And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he de- 
livered him to his mother.^ 




Luke vii. 16, 17. ^^^(j there came a fear on all : and they glorified God, saying, 
" That a great prophet is risen up among us " ; and, " That God hath 
visited his people." And this rumor of him went forth through- 
out all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about.^ 


Matt. xi. 2-13. 
Luke vii. 18-28. 

« And. 3 

h ami .Tohn.3 

c and said, i 

d do we look.i 

e answered and. i 

/shew, s 

g what. 1 

h do hear and 

see. 1 
i see. 3 

A' to the poor the 
go.^pel is 
preached. ^ 


)« they.l 

n he. 8 

o say. 1 

P multitudes. 1 

9 which. 3 
'■ houses. 1 

s Malachi iii. 1. 

t them. 1 

'< is not. 
w bu*^. s 
a: God 3 

t/esMS ajJfZ </ie Disciples of John Baptist. — Jesus' Testimony of John 
Baptist, — Ids Condemnation of the unbelieving Cities. — Jesus 
anointed by a Woman at a Pharisee^ s House. 

"AT'OW when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ,^ 
-^^ for ^ " the disciples of John shewed him of all these things,^ 
he,^ ' calling unto him two of his disciples, sent them to Jesus, 
saying^'' unto hini,^ 

" Art thou he that should come 1 or look we ** for another 1 " 

When the men were come unto him, they said, 

" John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, ' Art thou he that 
should come 1 or look we for another ? ' " 

And in the same hour he cured many of their infirmities and 
plagues, and of evil spirits ; and unto many that were blind he gave 

Then Jesus answering " said unto them, 

"Go your way, and tell/ John ^ again those S" things which ye^ 
have seen and heard : '^ how that ^ the blind receive their sight,' 
and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the 
dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.^ 
And blessed is he whosoever shall not be offended in me." ^ 

And when ' the messengers of John "» were departed,^ Jesus ^ " 
began to speak ° unto the people p concerning John, 

" What went ye out into the wilderness for to see 1 A reed shaken 
with the wind 1 But what went ye out for to see 1 A man clothed 
in soft raiment 1 Behold, they ^ that ? wear soft clothing ^ and ^ are 
gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings' courts. •■ 
But what went ye out for to see 1 A prophet 1 Yea, I say unto 
you, and much more than a prophet.^ For this is he, of whoin it is 

" 'Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, 
"Which shall prepare thy way before thee. ' ^ * 

For,^ verily ^ I say unto you. Among those ' that are born of women 
there ^ hath not risen " a greater ^ prophet ^ than John the Baptist : 
notwithstanding "" he that is least in the kingdom of heaven * is 
greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now 
the kingdom of heaven suff"ereth violence, and the violent take it by 
force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.^ 



And if ye will receive it, this is ^ Elijah,^" which was for to come. J,'^kt\f.l^:|; 
He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.^ And all the people that „Eiias~ 
heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with 
the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the 
counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him." 
And the Lord said, 

"Wliercunto then^ shall I liken the men of this<^ generation? ',f^^*.l'^"'"°'°' 
and to what are they like? They are'' like unto children sitting rfitis.i 
iu the market-place,' and calling one to another,/ and saying, ' We ^unto^tdr fei- 
have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned^ ^o^»-' 
unto ^ s- you and ye have not wept.' '^ For John the Baptist came ,, lamented, i 
neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye' say, 'He hatha "ii«y-' 
devil.' The Son of man is come* eating and drinking; and ye' <^^camc.i 
say, ' Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publi- 
cans and sinners ! ' But wisdom is justified of all her children."^ 

Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty 
works were done, because they repented not : 

" Woe unto thee, Chorazin ! Woe unto thee, Bethsaida ! for if 
the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tj-re 
and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 
But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon 
at the day of judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which 
art exalted imto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell : for if 
the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done 
in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto 
you. That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the 
day of jixdgment, than for thee." 

At that time Jesus answered and said, 

" I thank thee, Fafher, Lord of heaven and earth, because 
thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast 
revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father : for so it seemed 
good in thy sight. 

"All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man 
knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the 
Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal 

" Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I 
will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, 
for I am meek and lowly in heart : and ye shall find rest unto 
your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." ^ 

And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. 
And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat. And, 
behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew 
that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster 
box of ointment, and stood at his feet behind him weeping, and be- 
gan to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of 
her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.^ 

^ ^ 



Luke Tii. 39 - 50- Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake 
within himself, saying, 

" This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and 
what manner of woman this is that toucheth him ; for she is a 

And Jesus answering said unto him, 

" Simon, I have somewhat to say xmto thee." 

And he saith, 

" Master, say on." 

" There was a certain creditor which had two debtors : the one 
owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had 
nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them. both. Tell me therefore, 
which of them will love him most % " 

Simon answered and said, 

" I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most." 

And he said imto him, 

" Thou hast rightly judged." 

And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, 

"Seest thou this woman] I entered into thine house, thou 
gavest me no water for my feet : but she hath washed my feet with 
tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest 
me no kiss : but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased 
to kiss my feet. M}'' head with oil thou didst not anoint : but this 
woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say 
unto thee. Her sins, which are many, are forgiven ; for she loved 
much : but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little." 

And he said unto her, 

" Thy sins are forgiven." 

And they that sat at meat with him began to say within them- 

"Who is this that forgiveth sins also V 

And he said to the woman, 

" Thy faith hath saved thee ; go in peace." ^ 


Another Circuit through Galilee. — Denunciation of the Scribes and 
Pharisees on the Occasion of a Devil heing cast out, and of a Dinner 
at a Pharisee's House. 

Luke Tiii. 1-3. A XD it Came to pass afterwai-d, that^ Jesus ^° went throughout 

a he. 3 -ZTx. every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings 

of the kingdom of God : and the twelve were with him, and certain 

women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mar}- 

called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, and Joanna the ^ 



wife of Clmza Herod's stewnrd, and Susanna, and many others, jll^^^- 
which ministered unto him of their substance.^ ^-''Ii"'l4, 15, 

And they went into^ a^" house. And the multitude cometh 17-23^ 
together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. And "an. 2 
when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him : 
for they said, 

" Ho is beside himself." ^ 

Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil,^ and it ,, ^^^ ^^^,;^g ^^^ 
was^ blind and dumb: and he healed him,*" insomuch that^"^ it adcvii.a 
came to pass, when the devil was gone out,^ that ^ the blind and 
dumb both spake and saw. And all the people ^ wondered,^ and ^ 
were amazed, and said, 

" Is not this the Son of David % " 

But when the Pharisees,^ and the scribes which came down from 
Jerusalem ^ heard it,^ some of them ^ said, "^ '^^y-' 

"This fellow^" hath Beelzebub, and^ doth not cast out devils, eHe.23 
but by Beelzebub, the prince/ of the devils,^ through ^ whom^ he /chief. ^ 
casteth 3 them ^ out." ^ s 'J^ he^out devils. 2 

But^^ Jesus,^' knowing' their thoughts,^ called them unto him, J^^TlV 
and said unto them in parables, 

"How can Satan cast out Satan l^ Every kingdom* divided ^' ^i"m bo.^'°^" 
against itself is brought to desolation:^ that kingdom cannot stand, ' 
And 2 every city or house''" divided against itself^"' cannot ^ " ma house. 3 

J •' ^ i-T-jj" shall not. i 

Stand ^ but 5 flilleth.^ And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided that house can- 
against himself; how shall then his kingdom standi^ If he rise up 
aa-ainst himself, and bc^ also^ divided he cannot stand, but hath 
an end.2 Because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelze- 
bub.'' And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your 
children" cast them outi therefore they shall be your judges. But osons.s 
if I cast out devils by the Spirit? of God, then,^ no doubt,=' the p^vith the finger .3 
kingdom of God is come unto 1 you.^ " "p°"' 

"When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are 
in peace,'' no man can'" enter into his» house, and spoiP them,^ -oreisehowcan.i 

i ' . s a strong 

except he ' first bind the strong man : ^ but when a stronger than man's. 1^2 

he shall come upon him and overcome him, he taketh from him 

all his armor wherein he trusted ; ^ and then he will spoil his house,^ 

and'' divide ^ " his spoils.'' « divideth. 3 

" He that is not with me is against me ; and he that gathereth 
not with me scattereth abroad. Wherefore ^ verily^ I say unto you, 
All manner of sin i"' shall be forgiven unto men,' ^ and blasphemies 2' '^^^^^ ^^ 
wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: but he that shall bias- ^^^^^^^^^^^ 
pheme^ against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness," but is in sthebbspheniy.i 
danger of eternal damnation.^ And whosoever speaketh a word "forgiven unto 
against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him : but whosoever 
speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, 
neither in this world, ncitlier in the world to come." ' (Because they 
said, "He hath an unclean spirit." -) " Either make the tree good,^ 







Matt. xii. 33-45. 
Luke xi. 16, 24- 

a then.i 

b and others. 2 

c sought of him 
a sign. 3 

d began to say. 3 
e seeketh.i 

/Jonas. 1 3 

g Nineve. 3 
It because. ' 

I it.i 

* utmost. 3 

' findeth. i 
m into. 1 
" is come, i 
o to him. 3 

and his fruit good ; or else make the tree connipt, and his fruit 
corrui:)t : for the tree is known by his fruit. generation of vipei'S, 
how can ye, being evil, speak good things 1 for out of the abiui- 
dance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the 
good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things : and an 
evil man out of the evil treasui'e bringeth forth evil things. But I 
say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they 
shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy 
words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be 
condemned." ^ 

And wdien the people were gathered thick together,^ " certain of 
the scribes and of the Pharisees,^* tempting him,^ answered, say- 
ing, " 

" Master, we would see ^ from thee ^ a sign from heaven." ^ 

But he answered and said ^ unto them,^ 

" This is an evil ^ and adulterous generation : ^ they seek ^ * after 
a sign ; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the 
prophet ^ Jonah. ^/ For as ^ Jonah ^f was a sign luito the Ninevites, 
so shall also the Son of man be to this generation.^ For as ^ Jo- 
nah ^f was three days and three nights in the whale's belly : so 
shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart 
of the earth. The men of Nineveh ^^ shall rise up in the judgment 
with this generation and shall condemn it : for * they repented at 
the preaching of^ Jonah;''/ and, behold, a greater than ^ Jonah ^/ 
is here. The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment 
with the men of this generation, and condemn them : ' for she came 
from the uttermost '^ parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solo- 
mon ; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.^ 

" No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret 
place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which 
come in may see the light. The light of the body is the eye : 
therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of 
light ; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. 
Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not dark- 
ness. If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part 
dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of 
a candle doth give thee light.^ 

"When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh 
through dry places, seeking rest ; and finding ' none,^ then ^ he saith, 
'I will rettu-n unto™ my house ^ from ^ whence I came out.' And 
when he cometh," he findeth it ^ empty,^ swept and garnished. Then 
goeth he,^ and taketh with himself " seven other spirits more wicked 
than himself, and they enter in and dwell there : and the last state 
of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto 
this wicked generation." ^ 

And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman 
of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him,^ 



a a 


" Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which tliou JJ*"- ??."•'*,<' - ^.O- 

' i •'^ Mark lu. 31 -35. 

hast sucked ! " J^"kc vm i_9 - 21. 

— XI. 2( , 28, 

But he said, 37-48. 

" Yea, ratlier, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and 
keep it."^ 

"While he yet talked to the people,^" and the multitude sat about "then. 2 3 
him," behold, there came "^ to him his mother and his brethren, and 
could not come at him for the jDress,^ and standing ^ without,^ de- & stood. 1 
siring to speak with him,^ sent xmto him, calling him.^ 

Then one "^ said unto him, <^ and they. 2 

and it was told 

" Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without,^ and ^ seek i''"' '^'y certain 

' -^ '' _ ' which. 3 

for thee,^ desiring to ^ see^ and^ to speak with thee." 

But** he answered and said unto him* that told him,^ saying,^ '/And. -3 

" Who is my mother 1 and who are-/" my brethren 1 " ^ /or. 2 

And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and ^ 
stretched ^ forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, y he stretched. 1 

" Behold my mother and my brethren ! ^ They ^ are these which 
hear the word of God, and do it.^ For whosoeyer shall do the will 
ofMjod"^ my Father which is in heayen, the same is my brother, 
and^ niy ^ sister, and mother." ^ 

And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with 
him : and he went in, and sat down to meat. And when the 
Pharisee saw it, he maryelled that he had not first washed before 

And the Lord said unto him, 

" Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and 
the platter ; but your inward part is full of ravening and wicked- 
ness. Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make 
that which is within alsol But rather give alms of such things 
as ye have ; and, behold, all things are clean unto you. 

"But woe unto you, Pharisees ! for ye tithe mint and rue and all 
manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God : these 
ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. 

" Woe unto you, Pharisees ! for ye love the uppermost seats in 
the synagogues, and greetings in the markets. 

" Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites ! for ye are 
as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are 
not aware of them." 

Then answered one of the lawyers, and said imto him, 

" Master, thus saying thou reproachest us also." 

And he said, 

"Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens 
grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with 
one of yom' fingers. 

" W^oe unto you ! for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, 
and your fathers killed them. Truly ye bear witness that ye allow 
the deeds of your fathers : for they indeed killed them, and ye build ^ 

^ J 

^ ^ 


Luke xi. 48-54. their sepulchres. Therefore also said the wisdom of God, 'I will 
send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay 
and persecute ' •. that the blood of all the prophets, which was shed 
from the foundation of the world, may be required of this gcnera- 

f( Zaciiarias. 3 tion ; from the blood of Abel unto the sou of^ Zachariali, ^" which 
pei'ished between the altar and the temple : vei'ily I say unto you. 
It shall be required of this generation. 

" Woe unto you, lawyers ! for ye have taken away the key of 
knowledge : ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were enter- 
ing in ye hindered." 

And as he said these things unto them, the scribes and the Phari- 
sees began to lU'ge him vehemently, and to jDrovoke him to speak 
of many things : laying wait for him, and seeking to catch some- 
thing out of his mouth that they might accuse him.^ 





Aduherij, the Sermon on the Mount, 253. 

Almsgiving, the Sermon on the Mount, 257. 

Angelic Minislraiions, the faith of a devout Jew, 
14 ; a striking feature of the period, 30 ; faith 
of the church and people, 30 ; relation to 
monotheism among the Greeks, 32. 

Anna, the prophetess, 26. 

Annunciation, the, 8. 

Apostles, the, as distinguished from disciples, 

Akciielaus, the successor of Herod, 30. 

Baptism, John's formula, and the meaning of 
the act, 76 ; Christ's baptism, and the JcAvish 
law, 85 ; learned writers on the subject, 85 ; 
Christ's own interpretation of the rite, 86 ; 
its symbolic meaning and formula, 167 ; the 
disciples' dispute about purifying, 168 ; the 
dispute not yet ended, 169. 

Beatitudes. See Sennon on the Mount. 

Beatitudes, the Mount of the, 230. 

Beelzebub, critical examination of the name, 

"Beg," the strained use of the word, 282. 

Benevolence, the Sermon on the Mount, 256. 

Bethesda, the Pool of, 199. 

Bethlehem, to-day, and in the time of Christ, 23. 

Bethsaida, the judgment of Christ upon, 285. 

"Born again," physical and moral re-birth, 163. 

Cana. See Wedding. 

Capernaum, 147 ; the last traces of, 149 ; a year 
of beneficence in, 212 ; the judgment upon, 
by Jesus, 285 ; its scenery, 313. 

Carpenter, the trade of, now and in Christ's time 
in Palestine, 51. 

Caves in Palestine and tlicir use, 22. 

Centurion of Capernaum, the, 275. 

Character of Jesus, 110; tenderness in per- 
sonal intercourse, 112 ; not regarded as a com- 
mon man, 113 ; power of his look, 114 ; power 
as a speaker, 115; impi'essive manner, 116; 
popular conceptions, 117; assumptions of sov- 
ereign authority, 207. 

Childhood of Jesus, points for special atten- 
tion, 58; brothers and sisters, 58; Matthew 
declares he would be called a Nazarene, 59. 

Chorazin, the judgment of Christ upon, 285. 

Christian Art, deification of the Virgin, 12 ; trib- 
utes to Mary as the type of motherhood, 25. 

Christian Church, its gradual unfolding and in- 
terpretation of spiritual Gospel truths, 5. 

Church Organization was not the aim of Christ, 

Chusa, the wife of Herod's steward, 288, 302. 

" Come unto me, all ye that labor," 286. 

Conant, Professor T. J., on the word " beg," 
282; on the name Beelzebub, 291. 

Covetousness, a warning, 305. 

Critics of the Gospels, 6. 

David, King, the consecrated bread, 206. 

Design of Christ's teaching, the direct influence 
of the Divine nature upon the human heart, 

Disciples, the permanent formation of the disciple 
family, 223 ; Simon, James, and John, 224 ; 
Matthew, otherwise Levi, 224 ; occupations 
and social position, 225 ; character and per- 
sonal relations with Jesus, 225 ; errors and 
failings, 225 ; as distinguished from apostles, 
225 ; why chosen, 226. 

Discourses of Jesus, illustrations from nature, 
49 ; reasons for simplicity, 51 ; influence of the 
Book of Proverbs, 53 ; to Nicodemus, 163 ; to 
the woman of Samaria, 178; before the San- 
hedrim, 203. 

Divine Injluences upon mental transformations, 

Divinilij, the claims of Jesus to, 221. 

Divorce, the Sermon on the Mount, 254. 

Dixon, W. H., view of Nazareth, 169. 

Doctors, the, in the. Temple, 56. 

Dollinger, Dr., on the Pharisees, 123. 

Education of Jesus, 223. 

Education among the Jews, 222 ; courses of study, 
222 ; teaching of trades at schools, 222 ; the 
rabbis, even, were taught such, 222 ; why the 
disciples were named after trades taught at 
school, 222. 

Elias the prophet, 70; dramatic incidents of 
his career, 71. 

Elizabeth. See Zaciiakias. 






Ellicott's "Lectures," on the duration of 
Christ's ministry, 198. 

Essenes, organization, observances, and faith of, 

Fasting, the Sermon on the Mount, 263. 

Feasts, the three annual at Jerusalem, 150; the 
Passover, 151; of Purim, 198. See also Je- 

Forgiveness of Sin, the repentant Magdalene, 
279 ; Christ's enunciation of power to for- 
give sin, 220 

Future Life, Christ's familiarity with, 308 ; its 
influence upon his teachings, 308. 

Galilee, local influences upon Christ's life, 45 ; 
scenery, 46, 312 : historical associations, 47 ; 
animal and vegetable life, 48 ; admixture of 
pagan population, 121 ; the centre of Christ's 
public life, 313 ; Macgregor's description, 314. 

Galileans, reply of Jesus on news of their slaugh- 
ter, 310. 

Gates of Oriental cities the evening resort, 214. 

Genesareth, the plain of, 313; Christ's solitary 
walks, 314, propagation of sound in that re- 
gion, 315 ; its desolation in later times, 316. 

Gospels, the four, the only material for a life 
of Christ, 1 ; their vahie as testimony, 2 ; 
authority and motives for writing them, 2; 
what they are, their moral rather than chro- 
nological similarity, 3 ; compared to Xeno- 
phon's Memorabilia of Socrates, 4 ; their ref- 
erence to the mental altitude and customs of 
their time, 4; Jews their authors, 4, necessity 
readapting with, 5 ; the life of Christ should 
be rewritten for every age, 5 ; their deeper 
meaning to us than to the primitive disciple, 
6 ; the two classes of Gospel critics, 6 ; to 
which class the present writer belongs, 7 ; 
providential design of the Gospels, 8; their 
structure, 110; are collective reminiscences 
of Christ, 110; the myhical theory in regard 
to them, 320. 

Government a constitutional necessity in man, 
134, physical and moral, considered, 308. 

Grain-fields of Galilee, 317. 

Greek and Hebrew minds contrasted, 228. 

Hattin, the scene of the Sermon on the Mount, 

Heathen, the word as a designation, 250. 

Hebrews, original tribal organization, 63 ; the 
priests the ruling class, 63 ; the prophetic 
nature, 64. 

Hebrew Women, education and associations, 13 ; 
participation in public affairs, 26. 

Hebrew and Greek minds contrasted, 228. 

Herod, his alarm on hearing of Jesus, 27 ; con- 
sults the Magi and sends them to seek Jesus, 
27 ; they see Jesus and depart to their homes. 

28 ; Herod's greater alarm, — the massacre of 
children ordered, 29 ; the historical truth of 
the statement, 29 ; the death of Herod, 29 ; 
succeeded by Archelaus, 30 ; his suspicious 
and cruel character, 302 ; Jesus had friends 
among his household, 302 ; the wife of Her- 
od's steward, 288, 302. 

Holy Ghost, the descent of, upon Jesus, 80. 

Humanitarianism. See Nature of Jesus. 

Immortality always assumed in Christ's teach- 
ings, 308. 

Incarnation. See Nature of Jesus. 

Inspiration of the Scriptures, its theory, 61 ; how 
the claim should be understood, 62 

Israel. See Hebrews. 

Jacob's Well, the discourse of Jesus to the wo- 
man of Samaria, — locality of the well, 176; 
its authenticity, 177 ; he asks for water, 178; 
the woman's implied taunts, 179; the "liv- 
ing water," 179; the retui'n of the disciples 
interrupts the conversation, 182 ; its effect up- 
on the woman's mind, 183; she informs her 
towns-people, 184; he remains with tlicm 
two days, 1 84 ; Jesus thus set himself against 
the exclusiveness of the Jewish Church, 184; 
his treatment of a sinning woman, 185; the 
incident a fit prelude to his opening public 
life, 186; objections to the narrative, 186; 
his reply to the disciples who reproached him, 

Jerusalem, love of the Jews for it, 9 ; the an- 
nual festival, 54 ; the roads, 54 ; sacred songs 
of the travellers, 55 ; the unconstrained char- 
acter of the festival, 55 ; the approach to the 
city, 151 ; Jerusalem to Galilee, 171. 

Jesus, the Christ, birth of Jesus, 22; laid in 
a manger, 22; opinions and customs assign 
various dates to the nativity, 23 ; the voice 
from the heavens and tlic coming of the shep- 
herds, 24 ; circumcision, and presentation in 
the Temple, 25 ; Simeon and Anna, 26 , the 
excitement at Jerusalem, 26 ; Herod consults 
the Magi, 27 ; the guiding star, 27 ; their wor- 
ship and gifts, 28 ; the flight into Egypt and 
return to Nazareth, 29 ; the nature of Jesus 
(see Nature of Jesus) ; childhood and resi- 
dence at Nazareth, 42 ; his visit to Jerusalem 
at twelve years of age, the last glimpse of him 
for sixteen or eighteen years, 43 ; his probable 
youthful experiences and character, 43 ; his 
brothers and sisters, 58 ; the local influences 
of Galilee, — the bad reputation of Nazareth, 
its beautiful scenery, 46 ; historical associii- 
tions of Galilee, 47 ; influence of the region 
upon his genius considered, 48-51 ; his edu- 
cation was little beyond his father's trade of 
carpenter, 51 ; what the term included, 51 ; 





his knowledge of the Old Testament gained 
in the synagogue, 53 ; the influence of that 
knowlcilge upon liis mind, 53 ; his first visit 
to Jerusalem, 54 ; the festival over, his par- 
ents return, 55 ; he is missed after a day's jour- 
ney, 56 ; tliey find iiira after three days among 
the doctors in the Temple, 56 ; John, the fore- 
runner of Jesus (sec John); is baptized by 
Joiin, 79 ; the sign of the dove descending, 

— a voice from heaven, 80 ; Jesus from that 
moment became the Christ, 81 ; he begins 
the new dispensation, 81 ; the temptation in 
the wilderness (see Temptation) ; the personal 
appearance of Jesus (see Personal Appear- 
ance.) ; the design of his teaching, 118; social 
and religious condition of Palestine, 121 (sec 
also JcH's, Pharisees, Saclducees, Essenes, &c.) ; 
the expectations of a Messiah, and his real de- 
sign, 129; its progressive development, 131; 
he did not aim to organize a church, 133; 
retained full communion with the Jewish 
Church, 134 ; his return home after the temp- 
tation, 136 ; he clung to the common life of 
the people, 136 ; he was the " Son of Man," 
138; he went to Cana, 138; the wedding 
feast (see Wedding ) ; his life for the next two 
years, 146; visit to Capernaum and subse- 
quent home there, 147 ; his miracles and life 
at Capernaum, 148; his failure to win the 
people to a spiritual life, 148; Jesus went to 
Jerusalem, 149; the first Judrean ministry, 

— the approach to Jerusalem, 151 ; the Tem- 
ple, 152; the traffic therein, 155; Jesus drove 
out the cattle and overthrew the tables, 157 ; 
is quesuoned by the officers of the Temple, 
158; the meaning of his reply, 160; the com- 
ing of Nicodemus by night, 162; importance 
of the conversation, 165 ; omission in John's 
Gospel record of this period, 165; conjectures 
upon the subject, 166; only mention is that 
Christ baptized in Judaja, 167 ; he early 
ceased to perform it, 168; the dispute among 
the disciples "about purifying," 163; the 
danger of division between Christ's and John's 
disciples, 169; Christ's return to Galilee, 170; 
Samaria, 176; Jesus at Jacob's well (see 
Jacob's Well); went into Galilee, 189; heals 
the nobleman's son at Capernaum, 190 . Jesus 
came to Nazareth, 192 ; invited to read in 
the synagogue, — announces the fulfilment of 
the Scriptures, 193-194; rage of the congre- 
gation, 194; who take him out to kill him, — 
his escape, 195 ; probable scene of the attempt, 
1 95 ; Capernaum thenceforth the home of 
Jesus, 198; he again visits Jerusalem, 198; 
healing the man at the pool of Bcthesda, 200; 
the sick man unlawfully carries his bed upon 

the Sabbath, 200 ; anger of the Jews thereat, 
200 ; Jesus is summoned before the Sanhe- 
drim, 202 ; his discourse in reply to accusa- 
tions, 203; he claims Divine authority, 203; 
now first calls himself the Son of God, 203 ; 
wonder and rage of the court at his defiance 
of their authority, 204 ; it was his first collis- 
ion with tlie Temple party, 205 ; the policy 
of the Temple tliciiccforth hostile, 205 ; Jesus 
was wntched by sjiies, 205 ; tlic jjlucking of 
grain by the disciples a new accusation, 205 ; 
his replies, 206 ; liis sovereignty of spirit 
in these contests, 207 ; heals the paralytic man 
in the synagogue, 207 ; again accused, — his 
replies, 208 ; the conflict of his love with in- 
humanity, 208; he went to Capernaum, 211 ; 
an unobstructed year of beneficence, 211 ; the 
popiilar wonder and admiration, 212; his 
preaching in the synagogues, 213; heals a 
man with an unclean devil, 213; withdraws 
to Peter's house, 214 ; heals the mother-in-law 
of Peter, 214 ; healing at the city gates, 214 ; 
the Pharisees silent for a time, 215 ; Jesus 
now made his first circuit through Galilee, 
216; suggestions of routes taken, 217; the 
excitement everywhere caused, 217; Herod's 
probable impressions, 217; the healing of a 
leper, 218; respect of Jesus for original Mo- 
saic rites, 218; the paralytic man lowered 
through a house roof, 220 ; Jesus forgives his 
sins, — the excitement of Pharisees present, 
220; he declares his power to forgive, 221 ; it 
was a claim of divinity, 221 ; his use of para- 
bles, 223 ; the permanent formation of his 
disciple family near Capernaum, 223 ; the 
miraculous draught of fishes, 224; calls Si- 
mon, James, and John to follow him, 224 ; 
the call of Matthew, otherwise Levi, 224 (see 
Discij^les) ; character of Jesus's teaching at this 
period, 227 ; the Sermon on the Mount (see 
Sermon); his return to Capernaum, 274; 
healing of the centurion's servant, 275 ; the 
widow's son restored to life, 276 ; the effect 
of this miracle, 277 ; at the house of Simon 
the Pharisee, 278 ; the repentant Magdalene, 
278 ; the message of John in prison, 281 ; 
his warnings to Bethsaida, Chorazin, and Ca- 
pernaum, 285 ; absence of sympathy from his 
fiimily connections, 287 ; his companions at 
this time, 287 ; charges of the Scribes and 
Pharisees, 288 ; his replies, 289 ; he charges 
them with blasphemy, 290; they* said he was 
aided by Beelzebub, 291 ; effbrts of the Tem- 
ple party to embroil him with his country- 
men, 292 ; his attitude in face of this danger, 
293 ; the cry, " Is not this the son of David ? " 
first heard, 293 ; the parable of the unclean 







spirit, 294 ; blessing of his mother by a wo- 
man listener, 295 ; his mother and brethren 
desire to speak with him, 296 ; declares wiio 
are liis motlier and brethren, 296 ; invited to 
dine by a Pharisee, 297; is qncstioned about 
the washing of hands, 298 ; the Scribes and 
Pliarisees urge him to speak of many things 
to accuse him, 298 ; he rebukes their inward 
hypocrisy, 298 ; around the Sea of Galilee, 
300 ; eight parables, 301 ; efforts to embroil 
him with the people, 303 ; they were uncon- 
sciously his body-guard, 303 ; the Pharisees 
watched for heresy, 303 ; the prudence of his 
course, 304 ; his discourse to his disciples be- 
fore a multitude, as i-ecorded by Luke, 304 ; 
a young man appeals against his brother, — is 
warned against covetousness, 305 ; parables, 
306 ; is told of the slaughter of the Galileans, 
310 ; tlic labor of days and weeks epitomized 
in the record of this time, 312 ; statement by 
John of its extent, 312 ; manner of his life at 
this time, 312; his solitary walks about Ge- 
nesareth, 314; his sermon from a boat, 316 ; 
his metliod of teaching and the theory of 
myths, 320 ; some parables considered, 322 ; 
the voice ceased, and the enthusiasm of the 
crowd had gone out like the last rays of the 
setting sun, 324. 

Jt;ws, their moral nature, 77 ; inequality of con- 
dition and precarious existence, 121 ; political 
subjection, 122; their glory in the law as 
God's chosen people, 122; priesthood domi- 
nated by the Romans, 123 ; forms of religious 
development, — the Pharisee, the Sadducee, 
and the Essene, 1 23 ; their social habits and 
observances, 139. 

Jeioish Church, its expected deliverance, 1. 

Jewish Nation, tenderness of Jesus toward the 
good of its past, 250. 

JoHX, the forerunner of Jesus, Zacharias and 
Elizabeth, 8-20; his character in childhood, 
20 ; the prototype of Elias (Elijah) the prophet, 
70; in what the similarity consisted, 71; his 
brief history, 70 ; his mission as the forerun- 
ner of Jesus, 72 ; iiis downright earnestness, 
73 ; his preaching was secular, not spiritual, 
74 ; his meaning of baptism, 76 ; his formula 
and meaning of baptism, 76; the relation of 
his discourses to the spiritual truths which 
Christ unfolded, 77 ; John conceived no new 
ideal of morality, 77 ; the effects of his 
preaching, 77 ; excitement in Jerusalem, 78; 
is questioned by messengers from the San- 
hedrim, 78 ; he declares to them the com- 
ing of Jesus, 79 ; Jesus comes to him for 
baptism, 79 ; the sign from heaven, 80 ; the 
mystery surrounding John, 82 ; his ministry 

after Christ's baptism, — disputes about " pu- 
rifying," 168 : John's noble character exempli- 
fied, 170; jealousy of Ilcrod Anti])as, — John 
denounces his wickedness and is imprisoned, 
8.3 ; the demand for his head by tlie daughter of 
Herodias, — his death, and burial by his disci- 
ples, 84 : his burial-place, like that of Moses, 
unknown, 84 ; analogies in the history of 
Moses and John, 84 ; his long imprisonment 
at Macha;rus, 280 ; his doubting message to 
Jesus, and the reply, 281 ; conduct of the peo- 
ple toward him and Jesus. 283 ; the most per- 
fect representation of his Master's spirit, 226. 

Jordan, the, historical associations, outshone by 
the baptism of Christ, 80. 

Joseph, the carpenter, the Virgin Mary's es- 
pousal to him, 12; he was of tlie house of 
David, 15 ; his occupation, 21 ; few remaining 
details of his history, 21 ; his death probably 
before the public ministry of Cln-ist, 21 ; how 
he is represented on pictures of the Holy 
Family, 21 ; sacred history relates nothing of 
him, 52. 

Judcva maintained the old Jewish stock, dislike 
of the Samaritans, 121. 

Jndtcan Hills, the road along the, — scenery and 
memories, 171. 

Kim/dom of Christ, the, not of this world, 302. 

KiTTo's Biblical Cijclopmdia on Christ in the 
synagogue. 192. 

Lange, on the word " Nazarene," 60. 

Law and the Prophets, Jesus came not to destroy, 
249 ; Christ's spiritual ethics contested their 
popular interpi-etation, 252. 

Laws, their true relation of servants, not mas- 
ters, 209. 

Lentclus, fictitious letter on appearance of 
Christ, 106. 

Leprosy, a description of, 219. 

Levites, the, 64, 67. 

Lives of Christ and Harmonies, 4 ; necessity for 
new adaptations for every age, 5. 

Lord's Praijer, the, 257. 

Luke, his motive for writing his Gospel, 3 ; 
why called the evangelist of Greece, 32. 

Macgregor, on the Sea of Galilee, 314, 315. 

Magdalene, Mart, one of Christ's attendants, 

Matji, the, mission to find Jesus, 27 ; the guiding 
star in the east, 27 ; they worshipped him and 
presented gifts, 28 ; return to their homes, 28. 

Manger, what it probably was, 22. 

Mary, the mother of Jesus, the little known of 
hei", — the light of imagination thrown around 
her name, 11 ; the reason why she is rev- 
erenced and worshipped, 11 ; a mother's love 
and forbearance the nearest image of Divine 






tenderness which the ?oul can form, 11 ; the 
deification of the Virgin by art, 12 ; the resi- 
dence, lineage, and espousal of Mary, 12 ; the 
habits and associations of her life, 13 ; her 
familiarity with the Hebrew Scriptures, — she 
was imbued with their spirit, 13 ; reality to 
her of the angelic manifestation, 14 ; her ideas 
of the promised deliverance of Israel, 15 ; she 
went into the city of Juda, to the house of 
Zacharias, 16; her revelations to Elizabeth, 
17 ; the exalted expectations of both women, 
17 ; the song of Mary, 17 ; its similarity with 
the song of Hannah, 18; Mary's return to 
Nazareth, 19 ; the journey to Bethlehem, 22 ; 
the birth of Jesus, 22 ; a cottage probably the 
place, 22 ; the manger was in a cave exca- 
vated from the cottage, 22 ; the coming of the 
shepherds, 24 ; purification and thank-offering, 
25 ; the prophecy of Simeon and of Anna, 
26 ; the visit of the Magi, 27 ; flight into 
Egypt, and return to Nazareth, 29 ; the most 
intimate communion of Jesus was with his 
mother, 52 ; other children of Joseph and 
Mary, 59 ; blessed by a woman among 
Christ's listeners, 295 ; Mary's anxiety for her 
son, 295 ; she with his brethren desire to speak 
with him, 296 ; " Who is my mother ? " 296 ; 
it was a rebuke to them, 296. 

Mnssacre of the Innocents, 29. 

Materials for a Life of Jesus, the Gospels only, — ' 
he wrote nothing, 1. 

Matthew, his mental character, 60 ; the term 
" Nazarene," 60. 

Messiah, the, promises and expectations of, 10; 
the popular expectations, — the real design of 
Jesus, 129 ; the annunciation of a suffering 
Messiah, 131 ; the kingdom of, when at hand, j 
311. j 

Miracles, their rejection leads to Pantheism, 6 ; 
their character and credibility, 14 ; angelic 
manifestations and the Hebrews, 14 ; relation 
to a higher law of nature, 119 ; deeper moral j 
significance toward the close of Christ's life, ' 
132 ; the wedding at Cana, 141 ; at Caper- 
naum, 148 ; healing the nobleman's son, 190; i 
the impotent man, 200 ; the paralytic man, 
207 ; the man with an unclean devil, 213 ; ' 
healing of Peter's mother-in-law, 214 ; healing 
at the city gate, 214 ; healing the leper, 218 ; 
the paralytic man, 220 ; miraculous draught 
of fishes, 224 ; the humanity of Christ's mir- 
acles, 228 ; the centurion's servant, 275 ; res- 
urrection of the widow's son, 276 ; unfriendly 
popular criticism, 285. 

Moral Beliefs and Convictions, the source of, 249. 

Moral Teachintj, its nature, 318. 

Mosaic Institutes, 128 ; their interpretation, 129 ; 

Christ's relations toward them, 133 ; he never 
disregarded them, 218; their humanity to- 
ward the poor, 282. 

Mother and Brethren, his disciples are such to him, 

Murder, the Sermon on the Mount, 252. 

Myths, the theory of, refuted, 320 

Nativity, differences as to its date, 23. 

Natuke of Jesus, philosophical views of the 
Church, 34 ; humanitarian and rationalistic 
school and its tendency, 34 ; compromise views 
are unsatisfactory, 35 ; church doctrine of a 
double nature, 36 ; its services to Christianity, 
36 ; more philosophical and simpler views, 37 ; 
theological discussions are mediaeval or mod- 
ern, 37 ; instances of this, 37 ; ground tak- 
en by the author, 38 ; the grand results of the 
incarnation, 40. 

Nazareth, its bad reputation, 46 ; scenery, 46 ; 
scene of attempt to kill Jesus, 195; W. H. 
Dixon's view of Nazareth, 196; fierceness 
and unbelief of the townsmen, 197. 

Nazarene, a term of reproach, — Matthew's 
statement of its reference to Jesus, 60. 

New Life, the Sermon on the Mount, Christ's 
view of its ethics, 251. 

Nicodemds, came to Jesus "by night," 162; 
mistaken view of his courage, 162 ; how 
proved later, 163; spiritual re-birth explained 
to him, 163. 

Oaths, the Sermon on the Mount, 255. 

Oriental Instruction and its character, 160. 

Overture of Angels, the, 8. 

Palestine, populations and influence of wars 
therein, 120; political condition, 130. 

Pantheism is atheism, — the miracles, 6. 

Parables, a favorite device with Jewish teachers, 
223 ; tlieir use by Jesus, 223 ; the two debtors, 
279 ; the unclean spirit, 293 ; the eight spoken 
in succession, 301 ; their character and pur- 
pose, 301 ; the advantage and use of parables, 
301 ; the parable of the sower, 303, 316; the 
parable of the rich mnn, 306 ; the servants 
found waiting for their lord, 306 ; Peter's 
questions as to whom the parables referred, 
307; parable of the unfaithful servant, 307; 
the rigorous creditor, 309; parable of the fig- 
tree, 309 ; parables as used by Jesus, 320 ; the 
grain of mustard-seed, 322 ; the kingdom of 
heaven like unto leaven, 322 ; unto a net, 323 ; 
the good seed and the tares, 323 ; the treasure 
hid in a field, 324 ; the pearl of great price, 

Passovei; See Feasts. 

Paul, why called a tent-maker, 222. 

Peace on earth only reached by conflict, 311. 

Pentecost. See Feasts. 






Pkrsonal Appearance of Jesus, the diffi- 
culty of approaching the Jewish life in the 
time of Christ, 102 ; the exalted idea of Jesus 
and his Divinity give an ideal color to his 
person and appearance, 102 ; the impressions 
which he made upon his disciples and country- 
men, 103 ; to them he was simply a citizen, 
and so to his disciples until after the resur- 
rection, 103; a conversation combined from 
the Gospels on this point, 104; there is noth- 
ing to determine the personal appearance of Je- 
sus, 104 ; the great men of Greece and Rome 
were commemorated in art, 104 ; the disciples 
were neither literary nor artistic men, 104; 
the Jew was forbidden to make any image 
or likeness of Divinity, 105 ; the early Fathers 
differed as to his comeliness, — they appealed 
to the prophecies concerning the Messiah, 
105; the typical head of Christ, 107; the 
fictitious letter of Publius Lentulus, 106 ; por- 
traits began to appear in the fourth century, 
106 ; they were by Greek artists, 107 ; their 
ideal characteristics, 107 ; the Roman type, 108; 
the Italian masters, 108; the Christ of Mi- 
chael Angelo, 108, and of Leonardo da Vinci, 
109 ; the effect of pictures of Jesus upon re- 
ligion, 109 ; the grander Hebrew example, 
109 ; there are giimpses of Jesus's personal 
bearing, 109; every system of philosophy or 
religion except Christianity can be received 
without knowledge of its founder's person, 
109; the genius of Christianity requires a 
distinct conception of Christ's personality, 

Pharisees, their history and religious tendencies, 
123; extract from Dollinger on the Phari- 
sees, 123; arraignment of Jesus for Sabbath- 
breaking, and the motive, 202 ; their accusa- 
tions of Jesus, 288 ; he charges them with 
blasphemy, 290; rebuked by Jesus at the 
Pharisee's house, 298 ; their method of seeking 
to destroy him, 301 ; their popularity, 303 ; 
their spiritual blindness, 309. See also 

Pilate, slaughter of the Galileans, 310. 

Political Tests of Jesus by the Scribes, 302. 

Poor, humanity of the Mosaic institutes toward, 

Prayer, the Lord's, 257. 

Priests, limited sphere and influence of, 66. 

Prophets, the prophetic nature, 64 ; piophets 
among the Jews, 65 ; independence of cere- 
monial usages, 68 ; examples of particular 
prophets, 69 ; highest moods of inspiration, 
92 ; symbolization employed by the prophetic 
state, 9.3 ; attempted interpretation to mod- 
ern equivalents, 94. 

Prorerhs, the Book of, influence upon Christ's 
discourses, 53. 

Raising of the Dead, the three instances, 281. 

RationaIis7n. See Nature of Jesus. 

Renan, M., on the character of Christ, 7; on 
his sovereignty of spirit, 207. 

Repentance, its true meaning and spirit, 85. 

Retaliation, — Revenye, the Sermon on the 
Mount, 255. 

RociiETTE, Raoul, Iccturcs on ancient art, 

Romans, Christian converts among the, 375. 

Sabbath, Jewish laws and observances, 200 ; the 
conflict with the Sanhedrim, 202 ; the pluck- 
ing of ears of grain, 205 ; healing the para- 
lytic, 207 ; real significance of the contro- 
versy, 209 ; the Sabbath made for man, 209. 

Sacrifices, 68. 

Sadducees, their doctrines and relations toward 
the people, 126. 

St. Augustine on the four Evangelists, 3. 

Samaria, its poiiulation, 121 ; history and inhab- 
itants, 176; enmity with the Jews, 176; cor- 
dial reception of truth and hospitality, 189. 

Sanhedrim, questions John, the forerunner of 
Jesus, 78. See also Sabbath. 

Satan, mediaeval art representations of evil 
spirits, 95 ; they have corrupted the popular 
ideas to this day, 96 ; the Devil pictured by 
the monks is degrading to the narrative, 96 ; 
a true conception of the Evil One, 96. 
Saviour, Hebrew forms of the name, 80. 

Scribes and Pharisees. See Pharisees. 

Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, Mount 
Hattin the scene of the Sermon on the Mount, 
230; extract from Stanley's Sinai, 230; the 
various accounts of the sermon, 232 ; contrast 
between the sermon and the giving of the law 
from Sinai, 233 ; character and purpose of 
the sermon, 2.33; "Blessed are the poor in 
spirit," 238 ; " Blessed are they that mourn," 
239 ; " Blessed are the meek," 239 ; " Blessed 
are they who hunger and thirst after right- 
eousness," 241 ; " Blessed are the merciful," 
242 ; " Blessed are the pure in heart," 242 ; 
" Blessed are the peacemakers," 243 ; "Blessed 
are they who are persecuted for righteousness' 
sake," 245 ; the sermon Jesus's view of the 
spiritual ethics of the new life, 251 ; where it 
contested the popular interpretation of the 
law, 25^; murder, 252; adultery, 253; di- 
vorce, 254 ; oaths, 255 ; retaliation, 255 ; dis- 
interested benevolence, 256; almsgiving, 257 j 
prayer, — the Lord's Prayer, 257 ; fasting, 
263 ; the pursuit of wealth, 264 ; general con- 
siderations upon the sermon, 265. 
Shechem, the vale of, and its beauties, 172; con- 




noction with great events of Jewish history, 

Simeon, the ])roplietic rapture of, 26. 

Son of David, is not this the, 293. 

Son of Man, significance of the name, 138; by 
it Christ emphasized his mission, 138. 

Son of God, Jesus assumes tlie title, 203. 

Song, the, of Mary, 17 ; of Hannah, 18 ; of Zach- 
arias, 20 ; of the pilgrims to Jerusalem, 55. 

Stanley, on the Mount of the Beatitudes, 230. 

Star in the East, the, 27. 

Susanna, one of Christ's attendants, 288. 

Sijnagocjues, order of service in the, 192. 

Tabernacles. See Feasts. 

Teachings of Christ, his methods of, 223. 

Temperance reformers, and the wedding at Cana, 
143 ; wine and alcohols considered, 143, con- 
clusions from Christ's example, 145. 

Temple, the, at Jerusalem, 152; trafficking in, 
— extent and reason of it, 155. 

Temptations of Christ in the wilderness, 
the three narratives, by Matthew, Mark, and 
Luke, 88 ; place of the temptations — erro- 
neously supposed to be the mountains of 
Moab — was one, called Quarantania. of the 
line of mountains westward of Jericho, 88 ; 
accordance of these events with the elder He- 
brew nature, 89 ; light afforded by the visions 
of Ezekiel, 89 ; the forty days' fasting a pri- 
vate struggle and protection, 90 ; the silence 
of Jesus upon the subject, 90 ; his struggles 
with the powers of the invisible world, and 
his victory, 90 ; the belief of his disciples, — 
the teaching of the apostles and the faith of 
the Christian Church agree as to their reality, 
91 ; the inspiration of comfort from his vic- 
■ tory over the utmost that Satan could attempt, 
91; the nature of prophetic inspiration, 92; 
the mystery of his pure being, 95 , his trials 
and persecutions and consciousness of power, 
95 ; the first temptation, " command that 
these stones be made bread," 97 ; Satan, 
medieval and modern representations of evil 
spirits, 96 ; Rochette's lectures on ancient 
art, 95 ; the popular idea of Satan to this 
day, 96 ; a true conception of the Evil One, 
96 ; the prophetic symbolism of the first 
temptation, 97 ; the second temptation, "cast 
thyself down from hence," 98 ; its appeal to 
the love of praise and the principle of admi- 

ration in the multitude, 98; the third temp- 
tation, the mountain-top, — its tremendous 
force, 99 ; considerations of the tlieories of 
the temptations, 100; the objections to the 
literal history, — why the theory of a sym- 
bolic vision is preferable, 100; the practical 
benefit of this passage in the life of Jesus, 
Thief, the, that cometh in the night, 307. 
Thompson, the missionary, on caves in Pales- 
tine, 22 ; on leprosy, 219. 
Twelve Tribes. See Feasts. 
Unbelief of the people's leaders, Christ's severity 

towards, 276. 
Van de Velde, on Palestine and the vale of 

Shcchem, 172. 
Virgin, deification of the, by art, 12. 
Watching for the Lord, 306. 
Water, its ceremonial use, 167. 
Water vessels among the Hebrews, 142. 
Wealth, the pursuit of, —the Sermon on the 

Mount, 264. 
Wedding, the, in Cana, — uncertainty as to 
which Cana, 138; the presence of Jesus and 
its significance, 138 ; social and joyous habits 
of the Jews, 139; the scene described, 139; 
sobriety of such occasions, 139 ; Christ's geni- 
ality as a guest, 141 ; the wine exhausted, 
141 ; the first miracle, 142; the character of 
the wine, 143 ; Congregational Review on Rev. 
W. M. Thayer's " Communion Wine," &c., 
143; wine and alcohol considered, 143; the 
conclusions to be drawn from Christ's ex- 
ample, 145. 
Weddings among the Jews, 139. 
Wine. Sec Wedding in Cana. 
Woman, Christ's humanity toward the sinning, 

WooLSET, President, on the mother and breth- 
ren of Jesus, 296. 
Zacharias, the priest, and his wife Elizabeth, 
9 ; his life and duties, 9 ; the angel of the 
Lord appears to him, 9; tlie promise of a 
son, 10 ; Zacharias doubts and is stricken 
dumb, 10 ; their hopes of a Messiah, 11 ; re- 
turn to the " hill country," 1 1 ; arrival of 
Mary, 16; the birth and naming of John, 
19: bis lips were unsealed, — his song of 
thanksgiving. 20 ; his prophecy of Jolm's 
greatness, 20. 


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